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Full text of "Four years in a government exploring expedition : to the island of Madeira, Cape Verd islands, Brazil, Coast of Patagonia, Chili, Peru, Paumato Group, Society Islands, Navigator Group, Australia, Antarctic Continent, New Zealand, Friendly Islands, Fejee Group, Sandwich Islands, Northwest Coast of America, Oregon, California, East Indies, St. Helena, &c., &c."

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INDIES ST. HELENA, &c., &c. 






I 8 o 2 . 


Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1852, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the 
Southern District of New York. 

Stereotyped by Vincent Dill, Jr., 
No. 29 Beelcman Stroet. N. T. 

u. c. 





IT may be proper to observe, as affording some guarantee 
for the correctness of the information contained in this 
Volume, that it has been compiled from a Journal, or a Diary, 
which the author kept in obedience to a " General Order" 
from the Navy Department, and that the Journal in question 
was frequently submitted to the Commander-in- Chief of the 
Expedition for his inspection and perusal. 

The work will be found to embrace incidents occurring on 
board the ship, Descriptions of Natural Scenery, Mannera 
and Customs, Government, Religion, and Commerce. 

By adopting a more diffusive style, I might have exceeded 
my present limits ; instead of one such volume I might have 
produced two or three, but the general reader would have 
gained nothing by this, his main object being to gather in- 
formation, and the more succinctly it is conveyed to him the 
more rapidly he will acquire it, and more easily retain it. In 
short, I have endeavored to furnish a work which should have 
the merit of being -instructive and entertaining, concise and 
cheap ; and I hope that the present volume will be found to 
possess all these advantages. 

G. M. C. 



Departure from Norfolk Weather Orders to the " Relief" to proceed 
to Rio Janeiro Orders for the remainder of the vessels to rendezvous 
at Funchal St. Michael's Island Vast Fields of Sea Weed Impression 
they made on Columbus's men Arrival at Madeira Beautiful 
scenery General Description of the Island Manufactures Personal 
appearance of the Peasantry Their dress and habitations Culture of 
the Grape Description of Funchal Monks unpopular with the present 
Government Nunneries The celebrated recluse, Maria Clementina 
How the Nuns support themselves Cheapness of lat>or Public Amuse- 
ments Portuguese etiquette previous to dancing Beauty of the En- 
virons Ride to the famous Cural Catholic Burial Ground Story of 
Robert Machim and Anna D'Arfet. 


Departure for the Cape de Verde Islands Phosphorescence of the Ocean 
Arrival at St. Jago Description of the Capital Passage to Brazil 
Arrival at Rio Janeiro The U. States Frigate " Independence" 
Observations on Rio Janeiro and its Commerce with the United States 
Passage to Terra del Fuego The enemies of the flying-fish Arrival 
at Good Success and Relief Bays Orange Harbor Description of the 
country in its vicinity General Observations on the Natives of Terra 
del Fuego Departure for Valparaiso A terrific storm off Noir Island 
Loss of all our Anchors and Cables, and narrow escape from Ship- 
wreck Arrival at Valparaiso Obliged to borrow an anchor from 
H. B. M. Ship " President." 



General Description of Chili Climate Earthquakes Valparaiso and its 
Commerce Observations on the Inhabitants Amusements Religion 
Education The Army and Navy Newspapers President Prieto's 
visit to Valparaiso His reception by the citizens Arrival of the 
" Peacock," " Vincennes," and " Porpoise" Splendid ball given by 
the citizens of Valparaiso in honor of the Victory of Yungai. 


Arrival at Callao Harbor Chilian Sauadron, and famous Fortress Ob- 
servations on the City Visits to Lima Description of the peculiar 
dress of the Liminian ladies The Theatre Vice President Lafuente 
The country in possession of the Chilians Deplorable state of affairs 
The " Relief" ordered to the United States Fears are entertained for 
the safety of the Schooner " Sea Gull" Lieutenant Craven goes in 
search of her. 


Departure for Society Islands Appearance of the Coral Islands How 
they are formed The Natives of Calermont de Tonerre refuse to let 
Captain Wilkes land Obliged to fire blank cartridges at them Their 
personal appearance Alarm fires during the night Arrival at the 
Island of Aurora Remarks on its Inhabitants. 


Arrival at Tahiti General Description of the Island The Governor of 
Matavi comes on board to engage the washing of the officers His per- 
sonal appearance A stroll in the direction of Papeite Kind treatment 
received from the Natives The Women at Point Venus Encomiums 
passed on them by voyagers Send the Seamen to the Native Chapel to 
attend Divine Service Description of the Chapel Rev. Mr. Wilson, the 
only survivor of the first Missionaries Female passion for Singing The 
Squadron leaves for Papiete Objections to its Harbor Description of 
the Tahitian Flag Received a Present from the Queen A Commercial 
Treaty A Native Dance on board the ship The King-consort break- 
fasts with Captain Hudson Character of the Queen Influence of 
Mr. Pritchard. 



Description of the Navigator Islands An American citizen murdered by 
a Native Apprehension of the Murderer Sentenced by Captain Hud- 
son to be hung The Chiefs object to have the sentence carried into 
execution on shore The Criminal is taken away and put on Wallis' 
Island The Christian and Devil Parties Manners and Customs 
Departure of the Squadron for Australia Arrival in Sydney during 
the night Remarks of the Press. 


Discovery and Settlement of Australia, derived from Chambers's Papers. 


Commercial and Political Greatness of New South Wales Character of 
the Population Complaints against the Mother Country Flourishing 
condition of Sydney Principal Articles of Export Interior of the 
country Minerals Several kinds of animated creatures totally unlike 
those found elsewhere Observations on the Aboriginal Inhabitants. 


Departure for the South Pole Kind treatment experienced by us at 
Sydney Arrangements for keeping the Ship comfortable Appearance 
of Icebergs A new Continent discovered by the Expedition Eighty 
Ice Islands in sight at once Fired at a Sea Elephant Captured a King 
Penguin His appearance Aurora Australis State of the Weather 
Sickness among the crew Filled the Water Tanks with Ice Left 
Orders on a Berg for the " Peacock" Return to Sydney French 
Exploring Squadron. 


Arrival 'at New Zealand Observations on the Island, and its Inhabitants 
The Chiefs make a Cession of their Lands, Authority and Persons to 
Queen Victoria Report of the English bribing the Chiefs Pomare 
visits the Ship His personal appearance, and private character 
Arrival of the " Porpoise" from her Southern Cruise. 


Passage from New Zealand to Tonga Islands Communicate with an 
American Whale Ship. Pass a Water Spout Sail through a large 
field of Sperm Whale feed Anchor at Nookualofa Visited by the 


Missionaries Christian and Heathen Parties at War with each other 
Arrival of a War Canoe filled with Christian Warriors Eight 
Heathens or Devils killed in a skirmish Visited by several Heathen 
Chiefs Their Complaints against the Christians Description of Noo- 
kualofa Town Manufacture of Tapa Visits of the two Kings, Josiah 
and George, at the Observatory An American Whale Ship wrecked 
Preparations for going to Sea Pilot refuses to take us out of the 
Harbor Proceed to Sea Productions and Climate of Tonga Island 
Intercourse with the Fejee Group Manners Customs Government 
Religion Education Missionaries. 


Arrival at the Fejee Islands Description of Levuka Harbor Visit from 
its Head Chief Visited the Shore Beautiful Scenery Witness a 
Native Female Dance The Girls beg from us some Paint King Toanoa 
arrives from Ambou His reception The King and his Chiefs visit the 
Ship His alarm at the sound of the guns He spends on board all the 
following day His return to Ambou Receive a visit from his Queen 
and eldest Son The cruel character of the latter The Peacock cap- 
tures the Chief Vendovi An account of his attack on the " Charles 
Daggett" Send officers and men to the Observatory to protect it 
against a night attack from the Natives Taboo taken off the Cocoanut 
trees Sail for Saver Bay Hot Springs in its vicinity Superstition of 
the Natives Sail for Sandal Wood Bay Broils between two brothers 
Receive from the " Peacock" the prisoner Vendori The Vincennes' 
1st Cutter captured by the Natives Send an Expedition to punish them 
and recover the Boat Mr. Baxter of the Brig " Leonidas" dies from 
an. explosion Sail for Matawata Bay Description of the Town The 
King's Wives Our Surveying Signals are stolen by the Natives The 
King is compelled to restore them Two of our Officers are massacred 
by the Inhabitants of Malolo Destruction of their Town, and other 
punishment inflicted on them Tribute to the Dead by the Chaplain of 
the Expedition Meeting of Officers for the purpose of subscribing 
towards the erection of a Monument in the Cemetery at Mount Auburn 
Bid adieu to the Fejee Islands. 


Extent of the Fejee Group Soil and Productions Description of the 
Inhabitants How they wear their Hair Power of the Chiefs over the 
common people Women treated as Slaves How they carry Messages 


Copiousness of the Language Circumcision Polygamy Cannibal 
propensities Courtship Wives strangled and buried with their 
Husbands The Sick killed by their relatives Form of Government 
Religion Their account of the Origin of Races Their knowledge of 
Medicine Their Weapons Their Manufactures Foreign Trade 
Value of Whales' Teeth, &c. 


Arrival at the Sandwich Islands Description of Honolulu Foreign 
Residents American Enterprise Personal appearance of the Natives 
The Market Two Natives hung for poisoning a Woman Witness an 
Examination of 700 Native Children at Mr. Bingham's Church Their 
progress and natural abilities A visit to the famous Pali Remarks 
thereon Horse-racing a favorite amusement of the women My Horse 
takes fright Obliged to go on board the Ship Sail for Hawaii Our 
Success in our Scientific Pursuits while at Oahoo Immense height of 
the Mountains of Hawaii Wrestling Match on the Forecastle between 
two Natives Arrival at Hilo A Present from the King's Agent His 
personal appearance and behavior. 


Surpassing beauty of the Country about Hilo The Missionaries Send 
the Scientific Instruments on shore Excursion to the top of Mauna 
Loa Refusal of Natives, employed to carry the Instruments and Pro- 
visions, to proceed Scarcity of Wood and Water Objects of the Expe- 
dition I visit the Shore Mr. Alden and fifty Seamen go to the assist- 
ance of the Mauna Loa party Haul the Seine The Head-man of Hilo 
and family, and the King's Agent and his Lady, dine in the Ward- 
room How the Ladies dress, &c., &c. 


My visit to the Great Volcano The Mauno Loa Party accomplish its 
object, and the " Stars and Stripes" wave upwards of a week over the 
top of one of the highest mountains in the world Character of the 
Mountain Sufferings of our people from the excessive Cold, and 
Mountain Sickness Sail for Maui Pass the Island Raloolawe Arrival 
at Lahaina Appearance of the Surrounding Country The King of the 
Group visits the Ship His personal appearance and education My 
visit to the Town Beautiful Landscape The High School Native 
Children amusing themselves in the Surf Apparent danger of the 


Amusement Boats employed Surveying the Harbor Dangerous situa- 
tion of Mr. May and Crew Rescued by Lieutenant Budd The King's 
Schooner assists us in our Surveying Duties Return to Oahoo to fill up 
with Provisions Receive an Official Visit from the Governor of the 
Island His connection with the Royal Family. 


Sail for the Northwest Coast of America Description of the Villula, or 
" little man of war" Arrive off the Columbia River Owing to bad 
weather do not venture to enter Steer for Puget Sound Narrow es- 
cape from Shipwreck Loss of a Russian vessel near the same spot 
Savage Character of the Natives Enter Puget Sound Boarded by two 
Canoes Description of the Indians living along the Shores Arrival at 
Nisqually Survey Hood's Canal Celebration of the 4th of July on 
Shore Serious Accident Receive a visit from Doctor McLalaghlin 
Chief Factor and Governor of the Hudson Bay Company Lieutenant 
Johnson returns from an excursion in ibe interior. 


Exploration and Survey of Chickelees River Difficulties with the Indians 
at Grey's Harbor Scarcity of Provisions Obliged to subsist on dead 
fish picked up on the beach Arrival of Lieut. De Haven with provi- 
sions He communicates to us the loss of the " Peacock" Arrival at 
Astoria Kindness of Mr. Birnie Character of the Indian Tribes about 
Astoria Receive orders from Captain Wilkes to join him at Vancouver 
Indian Burial Grounds Arrival at Vancouver Observations on the 
Columbia River Received orders to join the Overland Expedition to 
California Sketch of a life at Vancouver. 


Early History of Oregon, derived from the most reliable authorities 
Cook Vancouver McKenzie Twi&s Greenhow. 


Leave Vancouver to join the Overland Party to California encamped, on 
the Banks of the Willamette River Rev. Mr. Cone, on his way to Van- 
couver His account of our party Five Americans building a Schooner 
-Their account of the Country The Falls Indian Superstition Sal- 
mon Fishery Observations on the Scenery and Navigation of the River 


Breakfast with the celebrated Mr. McKoy His Wheat Crop Cana- 
dian Settlement American Settlement Observations on the Soil and 
Produce of the Willamette Valley Methodist Mission Divine Service 
at Mr. Leslie's residence Break up the Camp Drawbacks Mr. Tur- 
ner's place, and his present to the party Loss of some of our Horses 
A visit from a party of Calipuya Indians Mr. Emmons leaves for Fort 
Umpquoa Unfavorable report regarding the Indians Mr. Emmons' 
return to the Camp Put the Arms in the best fighting condition 
Cross the North Fork of the Umpquoa River Rumors that the Indians 
are preparing to dispute our passage Indian Women gathering Roots 
Indian Burial Ground Cross the Umpquoa Mountains Character 
of the Country Klamet Indians Pass Tootootutnas River Sickness 
Expected Attack from the Shaste Indians Variety of Game Indian 
mode of killing the Antelope Passage over the Shaste Range Klamet 
Valley Ford the Klamet River Character of the Indians of this 
Region Reach the Head of the Sacramento Archery of the Indians 
Sacramento Valley Klinka Tribe of Indians Prairie Butes Feather 
River Captain Sutter's place Proceed to San Francisco Brief History 
of Captain Sutter His kind treatment of our party Extent and 
character of the Sacramento Valley San Francisco Bay at the time 
of our visit, and after the Discovery of Gold. 


General Observations on California. 


Conquest of California by the United States. 


Ordered to the Brig " Oregon" Sail for the Sandwich Islands A man 
killed^on board the " Vincennes" Leave Honolulu for the East Indies 
Arrival at Singapore Description of the City Opium vending and 
its effects upon the population Beautiful rides about the City A 
Chinese Temple A Mahommedan Mosque Malay Character The 
Parsees Their Language, Wealth and Religion Observations on Com- 
merce and Currency Sail for the Island of St. Helena. 



Aspect of St. Helena Discovery and Settlement of the Island Fortifi- 
cations Climate Population Observations on Jamestown Visit to 
Napoleon's Tomb, and Longwood Interesting particulars relating to 
the Captivity of the fallen Emperor His Death and Funeral Arrival 
of the Frigate " Belle Poule" to take away his mortal remains Exhu- 
mation of the Body Its embarkation Departure of the Frigate for 
France Sail from St.. Helena Arrival at Rio Janeiro Departure for, 
and arrival at New York. 



AT 3 o'clock P. M., Saturday, August 18th, the Vincennes 
made the signal to get under-weigh, and in obedience to the 
same we weighed anchor in company with the rest of the 
squadron, namely, " Vincennes," " Peacock," " Relief," and 
the two schooners "Sea Gull" and "Flying Fish." At 
5 P. M., we came-to off Fort Monroe, on account of its fall- 
ing calm, and of the tide making against us ; but at 9.20 the 
breeze sprung up, and we again hove-up the anchor and stood 
out to sea. At 4.15 P. M., on the 19th, we discharged the 
pilot, and took our departure. The day was beautiful, the 
sea smooth, the breeze favoring, and the vessels sailed finely. 
Indeed, we could not possibly have commenced our cruise 
under more auspicious circumstances. 

The day following we received orders, in case of separation, 
to rendezvous at Funchal, the principal port of Madeira. 

On the 24th, the "Relief" was ordered to proceed to Rio 
Janeiro, in consequence of not being able to keep up with the 
rest of the squadron. 

At dawn on the 13th of September, we descried the Island 
of St. Michael, the first land we had seen since bidding adieu 
to our own shores. This island is of a volcanic origin ; its 
conical-shaped mountains, and detached basaltic rocks which 


line its shores, prove this most conclusively. The northern 
side, along which we sailed for some time, looked singularly 
beautiful and romantic. It is one of the Azores,* or Western 
Islands, and belongs to the Crown'of Portugal. 

The next object which engrossed our attention was the im- 
mense fields of sea -weed, so often met with to the west of the 
group of islands just mentioned. Two great banks of this 
singular stringy-looking weed are said to occur in the Atlantic 
ocean. One of them is to the west of the meridian of Fayal, 
one of the Azores ; but the location of the other has not been 
correctly ascertained. According to Burnet, it vegetates within 
forty degrees of latitude on each side of the equator. It 
was known to the Phoenicians as the Weedy-Sea, and the 
Spaniards and Portuguese call it Mar de Zaragossa. It is 
related of Columbus, that the sailors who attended him on 
his first voyage of discovery to America, on passing through 
these fields of sea-weed, urged him to proceed no further on 
the voyage, but to return home again, as they superstitiously 
believed that this hindrance was designed by God to put a 
stop to his wild schemes. This floating fucus is supposed to 
be detached by storms from the submarine rocks on which it 
is said to grow ; but that which we fished up presented all the 
appearance of belonging to a healthy growing plant, nor could 
I detect any -roots which might have induced me to suppose 
that it had been once attached to the rocky bottom of the 

On the morning of the 18th of September, we anchored off 

* The Azores, or Western Islands, a group of nine islands in the Atlantic, between 
25 and 30 west longitude, and 37 and 40 north latitude, were discovered in 1439, 
by Vanderberg, a merchant of Bruges, and received their name from the number of 
hawks found among them. The climate is favorable to human health, and the soil is 
in general fertile, abounding in corn, grapes, oranges, lemons, and other fruits, and 
feeding many cattle, hogs, and sheep. 


the city of Funchal, in twenty-five fathoms water. The 
" Vincennes" and " Sea Gull" came in about sunset, and the 
" Flying Fish" an hour or two later. . The " Peacock" did 
not arrive until about 10 A. M. next day. 

Shortly after coming to anchor, we were boarded by the 
health-officer, who, being assured that we had no sickness on 
board, granted us permission to communicate with the shore. 

We had heard much about the beauties of Maderia, and 
now that we had it before our eyes, we were not disappointed ; 
my own expectations were indeed more than realized. Val- 
leys and hills, the former adorned with villas, groves, cottages, 
churches, and convents, the latter covered to their summits 
with verdure, presented themselves to our view in every direc- 
tion. The climate is said t^o be among the finest in the 
world. Properly speaking, there is no winter, and the greatest 
heat in the summer is never so great as with us. The usual 
height of the mercury is 67, and in the greatest extremes 
seldom sinks or rises 6 above the medium, and hence the 
excellent health so generally enjoyed by its inhabitants. 
Another remarkable fact about Maderia is, that it is free from 
the annoyances and inconveniences that so commonly infest 
warm climates. There are no snakes or reptiles of any sort. 
Flowers grow wild along the sides of the roads and in the 
fields. Water is abundant, and of an excellent quality ; even 
the streams at the bottom of the ravines, fed by the mountain 
dews, are never dry in the hottest season, and the height 
from which they descend enables the inhabitants to turn their 
course in any direction they please, which accounts for the 
cultivated parts of the island being so well irrigated. 

The 'chief production of Madeira is the grape,* and that 

* "The vine was introduced in 1425. from the Island of Candia ; but it was not ac- 
tively cultivated till the early part of the sixteenth century. It is propagated from 


which grows near the sea-shore is said to make the best wine. 
The quantity exported last year amounted to 8,450 pipes, of 
which about 4,000 pipes, valued at 793,000 dollars, went to 
the United States. There is a great difference in the spots 
where the vine grows, and some estates produce much better 
quality of wine than others, though the kind of grape culti- 
vated is the same. After the juice is expressed it is put 
into casks, undergoes the process of fermentation, is clarified 
with isinglass, or gypsum, and about three gallons of brandy 
to a pipe of wine is added. The common Madeira is obtained 
from a mixture of Verdelho, Bual, and Negro Molle grapes ; 
the Malmsey and Sercial, from grapes of the same name. 

The principal manufactures of Madeira are coarse linen, 
baskets, hats and bonnets, boots and shoes. The latter 
article is exported in considerable quantity to the East and 
West Indies ; they are generally well made, but they do not 
stand wet weather as well as the American shoes, in conse- 
quence of the leather not being properly tanned. 

The revenue of the island is stated to be about 210,000 
dollars per annum. That portion which is derived from the 
customs is about one half, or about 110,000 dollars. The 
remainder is from taxes and tithes. The population is esti- 

cuttings, planted at a depth of from three to six feet, and there is generally no pro- 
duce for the first three years. During the second spring they are trained along a 
net-work of canes, (which is extensively grown,4p low, moist situations, for that pur- 
pose,) and supported by stakes, about three or four feet from the ground. The in- 
ferior descriptions of wine, after being clarified, are subjected, in stoves, to a tem- 
perature of 140 to 160 Fahr. for six months, by which process of forcing they as- 
sume an apparent age, but, at the same time, a dry and smoky flavor, which can never 
be entirely eradicated. This class of wines is shipped annually, in large quantities, 
to Hamburgh, where it undergoes a process which changes its character to that 
of Hock, under which name a large portion of it finds its way into the English and 
American markets. The wines of Maderia. with the exception of Tinta, should be 
kept in cellars of a moderate and equable temperature, and should be placed, for a 
short period, at a moderate distance from the fire before decanted, and the decanter 

Madeira Costumes. 


mated at 115,000. The lower classes are industrious, sober, 
and honest. They are supposed to be a mixture of Moors, 
Negroes, and Portuguese. Dark hair, eyes, and complexion 
are most common. The character of the features is usually 
a broad face, high cheek-bones, full lips, and good teeth. 
The men are very muscular, about the middle height, very 
erect, strongly built, and capable of enduring great fatigue. 
The women are not good looking, which is no doubt owing, in 
part, to the hard labor required of them. 

The men wear loose trowsers, descending to the knee, made 
of coarse linen cloth manufactured on the island, a shirt, and 
a jacket of gaudy color. They sometimes wear boots or shoes 
made of white leather, but generally they go without either. 

The women are dressed in bodices, with short petticoats of 
a variety of colors. Both sexes wear a blue cloth cap of very 
small dimensions, tied under the chin. 

The houses of the peasantry are little better than huts ; 
they are constructed of stone, one story high, with a roof 
rising on all sides to a central pole are thatched with straw, 
and beneath the same roof are included the parlor, kitchen, 
and sleeping-room, without any intervening partitions. The 
only aperture for light or smoke is the door. Perhaps there is 
no need for chimneys, as fire is seldom required, and the coojk- 
ing is usually done out in the open air. 

Funchal is the capital of the island. It is built along the 
margin of a small bay, the houses in some parts rising one 
above the other on steep hills, and contains above 20,000 
inhabitants, of which 500 are foreign residents. It is inter- 
sected by three rivers, which are kept in their course by strong 
thick walls, from ten to thirty feet in height. Most of these 
streams have pleasant walks along their raised banks, shaded 
with large overhanging plane-trees, whose branches almost 


meet over the centre of the channel. The cathedral has been 
recently repaired, and makes a fine display ; its steeple is the 
most conspicuous of any in the town. 

The other public buildings are hardly deserving of notice. 
The Governor's palace is situated near the water, and has a 
commanding view of the harbor, but its architecture is clumsy 
and tasteless. A few yards from the cathedral is the Praca 
Constituicas, a very pleasant promenade, shaded by three or 
four rows of trees, and provided with benches for the repose 
of the weary. The military band usually plays here during 
the afternoon of Sundays, and " festas." The native inhabi- 
tants then appear in all their finery, listening to the airs 
discoursed by the band. Beyond the Plaza is the market- 
place, which is very clean, and regularly laid out in streets 
and stalls. 

Many of the convents are large and beautifully located, but 
in consequence of their being neglected by the present govern- 
ment, they have in a great measure become deserted, and their 
walls are crumbling down piecemeal. The monks are out of 
favor with the Queen's government ; the zeal with which they 
supported the claims of Don Miguel to the throne of Portugal 
has not been forgotten, and consequently they are looked upon 
with a suspicious eye, both by the government and the people. 
During the short reign of the Constitutional Government in 
Madeira, the nuns were permitted to leave their convents, and 
a few availed themselves for a time of the privilege, but 
returned again to their cloisters, after a short enjoyment of 
the world's gayety. The celebrated Maria Clementina, to 
whose history Coleridge has imparted such interest, still lives 
in the convent of St. Clara, among some forty of her sister- 
hood. She is now somewhat advanced in life, and few, if 
any, traces remain of that beauty which the poet so warmly 


described. These nuns support themselves chiefly by the 
manufacture and sale of artificial flowers and fruits, with a 
few other ornamental productions. The former are made of 
dyed feathers and the fruit of wax, and are prized by many 
visitors as affording a pleasing remembrance of their sojourn 
in the island. 

The dwellings are from one to two stories high, and the 
apartments are large and well lighted, but owing to the 
material of which they are constructed stone, and the iron- 
grated windows of the ground-floor they have a gloomy, 
cheerless aspect. Nearly every house has a kind of turret on 
the top, from which can be had a fine view of the harbor. 
The principal object of these is, for the inhabitants to look 
out for vessels ; the first thing to be done in the morning being 
to mount the turret to see if any strange vessel had arrived in 
the course of the night. 

The streets are narrow, and in some parts very steep, but 
they are kept clean. In the principal streets are some very 
good stores, kept by Englishmen, who are by far the most 
numerous of the foreigners that reside on the island. 

The market is very good. Beef of good quality can be had 
for eight cents per Ib. ; fowls for thirty-seven cents ; eggs for 
eight cents per dozen ; vegetables and fruits of every descrip- 
tion also are abundant. Clothing is as cheap as with us, and 
boots and shoes considerably cheaper ; and I may here add, 
that this is the case with everything which is made on the 
island, and it is to be attributed to the cheapness of labor, the 
highest wages commanded by mechanics not exceeding twelve 
dollars per month. 

In passing through the streets of Funchal, you meet with 
many of the country people, who have come either to trade or 
to obtain employment. They are a hardy, athletic race, and 


to all appearance remarkably polite and kind-hearted. When- 
ever we met them, they invariably saluted us. They are 
extensively employed about the town as carriers, and a stranger 
is at times apt to be struck with the novel character of their 
load; when at a distance, he sees them bearing on their 
shoulders what he supposes to be a live sheep, but on nearer 
approach he discovers that they are only the skins of that 
animal filled with wine. These skins are preserved as entire 
as possible, even the legs being retained ; they are kept 
steady by a band which passes over the forehead and supports 
a considerable part of the weight. Twenty gallons is con- 
sidered an ordinary load, and they will carry it to any part of 
the city for a pistareen. 

There are few public amusements to be found in Funchal, 
and strangers very soon complain of monotony. There is no 
theatre, no cafe, no resort, in fact, but the billiard-table. The 
members of the Portuguese Club have a ball, once a month 
during the season, and very agreeable and pleasing re-unions 
they are. According to Portuguese etiquette, previous to the 
commencement of dancing, the ladies sit formally at one end 
of the room, apart from the gentlemen, and it is customary at 
two or three o'clock in the morning, to hand around cups con- 
taining hot chicken broth. The ball seldom breaks up before 

Visiting among the ladies of Funchal, is performed in Pa- 
lanquins, and a kind of vehicle lately introduced, resembling 
one of our New England sleighs. The latter is generally 
drawn by oxen, and seems to answer better than a wheel 
vehicle, on account of the steepness and narrowness of the 

The rides about Funchal are delightful ; the roads are good, 
and lined on either hand with vineyards, mingled with groves 


of the orange and lemon tree. The most agreeable way of 
taking these rides is on horseback, horses being plentiful and 
generally well broken. Their owners invariably accompany 
them, and it is amusing to see how they manage to keep up 
when the animal is made by the rider to gallop or run ; they 
seize the tail with both hands thus making the horse drag 
them after him ; and what seems singular is, the animal never 
gets frightened, and if not urged on by the rider, will soon 
come to a halt. 

Every one who visits Maderia should certainly ride out to 
the Cural.* The road leading to it is one of the most inte- 
resting on the Island. It ascends gradually, and every now 
and then you are presented with a magnificent view of Fun- 
chal, arid its bay. After riding some hours you reach a mount 
of considerable altitude ; on ascending this you find yourself 
on the edge of the Cural, the whole scene suddenly bursts 
upon your view, and its beauty and grandeur fill you with 
wonder and astonishment. 

" Earth has nothing to show more grand ; 
Dull would be the soul who could pass by 
A sight so touching in its majesty." 

In the descent, the road winds along the sides of the pre- 
cipice, and at every turn new and striking views are brought 
out, almost surpassing in grandeur the first. When about 
five hundred feet from the bottom, the path becomes less 
precipitous, the country on either, side is in a high state of 
cultivation, and sprinkled with cottages, chapels, and con- 

Few places of sepulture can boast a more delightful 
prospect than the burial-ground of Funchal. Whilst the 

* The Cural is supposed to have been a Crater. 


dark cypress groves give a saddening effect to the place itself, 
in harmony with its object, J*he surrounding scenery pre- 
sents some of the finest views in the neighborhood of the 
town. The most prominent object in the distance is the 
Peak Fort, the principal fortress in Maderia. Its command- 
ing position renders it a picturesque object from many points 
of view. 

The following story relating to the discovery of Maderia, 
and narrated by a historian may be interesting to the 

" Anna D'Arfet, the heroine of the tale, was a lady of high 
family and distinguished beauty. She was beloved by Robert 
Machim, an English gentleman of great merit, but her infe- 
rior in rank and wealth ; the attachment, though mutual, was 
not countenanced by the proud family of D'Arfet, and finding 
her insensible to their admonitions, a warrant was procured 
from the King, Edward III., by which Machim was arrested 
and cast into prison, she being in the meantime compelled to 
ally herself with one more her equal in station. Machim on 
his release, determined to spare no means to become possessed 
of the object of his affections, and by the assistance of a 
friend, who introduced himself to his mistress in the character 
of a groom, succeeded in effecting her escape from a castle 
near Bristol, where her husband resided. Guided by their 
trusty friend, they embarked in a vessel bound for France ; 
but in crossing the channel they were driven out of their 
course by a fearful storm. For thirteen days they were 
tossed about in the open ocean, where, being without a pilot, 
they knew not in what direction to steer. At length a faint 
haze in the horizon indicated their approach to land, and soon, 
to their infinite joy, they saw before them a beautiful and 
richly wooded island. Machim and his mistress, accompanied 


by some friends, landed under the shade of a venerable cedar, 
where they found a temporary shelter, there trusting to the 
genial climate and enchanting scenery. Machim hoped to suc- 
ceed in administering consolation to the conscience-stricken 
Anna, but within a day or two of their arrival another storm 
arose, more terrible than the last, which drove their unfortu- 
nate vessel out to sea. Abandoned to despair, the beautiful 
Anna D'Arfet could not sustain this blow ; she died in the 
arms of her lover three days after the disappearance of the 
vessel, and was buried by Machim under the tree which had 
afforded them shelter. The spirit of Machim now gave way. 
He survived his mistress but a short time, and was buried at 
her side by his companions. With his dying breath he en- 
treated them to place an inscription upon their graves record- 
ing the fact, and requesting that, should the spot be ever vis- 
ited by Christians, they would there erect a church. The 
survivors having punctually followed the last directions of 
their friend, embarked again in the boat which had brought 
them from their vessel, with the intention of returning to Eng- 
land. Borne to the coast of Morocco, they were captured by 
the Moors and cast into prison. They narrated their story 
to some fellow captives, amongst whom was the pilot Mo- 
rales, who, returning from captivity, related the story to 
Zargo, and an expedition was soon after sent out by the 
Portuguese government to take formal possession of the 

:c The small church now standing near by the cedar tree 
is said to have been the one erected in compliance with this 
request. Bowles in his c Spirit of Discovery,' gives the fol- 
lowing poetical ver^on of the inscription, supposed to have 
been written by Machim on the grave of Anna D'Arfet : 


* O'er my poor Anna's lowly grave, 

^No dirge shall sound, no knell shall ring, 
But angels, as the high pines wave, 
Their half- said Miserere sing. 

* No flowers of transient bloom at eve 

The maidens of the turf shall strew, 
Nor sigh, as the sad spot they leave, 
Sweets to the sweet, a long adieu.' " 





ON the 25th we took our departure, and stood to the south- 

On the 6th at sunset, being near St. Jago, we hove-to, and 
continued so until next morning. The early part of the night 
was quite cloudy, a circumstance which greatly contributed to 
render the sea in the vicinity of the island appear much more 
phosphorescent than usual. Its brilliancy was so great that 
we could almost see to read by it, and we all remained 'on deck 
for hours to enjoy the scene. By straining some of the water 
through a piece of muslin, it was found to contain myriads of 
animalculae, which in the dark shone as brilliantly as the 

At early daylight we filled away, and stood in for Porto 
Praya, where we arrived at 7 A. M. This harbor may be 
described as a semicircular bay, of several miles in circumfe- 
rence, with bold steep shores. The entrance is from the south- 
west, and is free from all danger. The usual landing is around 
the bluff, upon which the fort and town are built. Sometimes 
a heavy swell sets in the bay, which renders landing very 

St. Jago is one of the largest of the Cape de Verde Islands. 
It extends from the 15th to the 16th degree of north lati- 
tude, and from the 24th to the 25th degree of west longi- 
tude. The population is estimated at 25,000. There are 
many fine pastures ta be seen in the interior of the island, 


and here and there a valley of great fertility and beauty, but 
in general the island is barren and mountainous. The coast 
is high, especially at the southeast extremity. The hills, 
rocks, soil, and everything about the surface, bear unmis- 
takable marks of volcanic origin. 

The island is subject at intervals to droughts, and during 
their continuance the inhabitants suffer greatly from want of 
food and water. The exports are orchilla,* castor oil, 
beans, salt, hides, and goat-skins ; the former article is a 
government monopoly, and forty thousand dollars are paid by 
the company for the yearly crop. The goat-skins are sent 
to the United States and sold at a very profitable rate. 

Porto Praya is the capital of the island ; it is built on a 
piece of " table land," and looks much more inviting when 
viewed from the anchorage than when more closely examined. 
The houses are constructed of a rough stone, without any re- 
gard to symmetry, and very few are over one story in height. 
The streets are wide, but are not paved, nor kept clean. 

A church, a barracks, and a jail, constitute all the princi- 
pal public buildings. The interior of the dwellings is in 
perfect keeping with their external appearance ; a few chairs, 
a table, and a bedstead or two, are all the furniture which any 
of them can boast of. 

The stores are very insignificant, for not only are the assort- 
ments small, but they are composed of the most common ar- 
ticles. The population is estimated at 3,000, of which num- 
ber more than two-thirds are negroes. The women are the 
ugliest we have ever seen. They are fond of gay colors, and 
their most fashionable head-dress consists of a figured-cotton 
handkerchief, tied round the head like a Turkish turban. 

* A species of kelp, or Sea-weed, which, when burned, produces alkaline ashes, used 
in the manufacture of glass and soap. 


The language spoken is a mixture of the Portuguese and 
the negro dialects. Many of the blacks are slaves, brought 
from the neighboring coast of Africa, and continue to speak 
in their mother tongue. They dress in a loose shirt, and sel- 
dom use a covering of any sort on their heads. ' Their chil- 
dren go entirely naked. 

We have a Consul residing in the town. The climate is 
not considered healthy for strangers ; it is subject to a fever, 
similar to that which prevails on the coast of Africa. 

St. Jago, like the other Cape de Verde Islands, furnishes the 
Portuguese government with a place of honorable exile for 
distinguished subjects, whose political opinions may be adverse 
to the existing institutions. They are advanced a step or two 
in rank to repay them, and a poor compensation it is for six 
years residence in such a miserable place, for they are not 
allowed to return sooner. 

During the short time we remained at the Island, our natu- 
ralists were actively employed, and many specimens were 
added to our collections in botany, ornithology, and shells. 

On the 7th of October, we again spread our sails to the 
breeze, and stood to sea. During the 9th we experienced 
variable airs, with calms at intervals. At 10 A. M. on the 
same day, we found ourselves in the midst of a very strong 
tide-ripple. There can be no doubt that this agitation of the 
water was caused by a current, for the sea was perfectly 
smooth only a few minutes before. In the afternoon we were 
in the position given to Pattey's Overfalls, represented as 
being so alarming to navigators, but we could see nothing of 

November 4th. The " Vincennes" saw ahead what she sup- 
posed to be breakers, but upon examining the place it proved 
to be an ocular deception, produced by the sun's rays throwing 


light upon the verge of the horizon, while it and the interme- 
diate space between it and the ship, was rendered dark by 
the shadow of the clouds. Similar appearances 'caused by 
the moon, were seen during the night. 

On the 5th, we crossed the equator, in longitude 17 west. 
The wind now blew from the southward and eastward. In the 
course of the afternoon we saw many shoals of flying-fish, and 
as they sprung unusually high into the air, we concluded that 
they were chased by other fish. The flying-fish has many 
enemies; the boneta, albacore, dolphin, &c., &c., are waging 
incessant war with them in the sea, and no sooner do they take 
to flight, than the prowling frigate-bird, or wide-a-wake, is 
ready to dash down among them, and drive them once more to 
seek shelter in their own native element. Very frequently, 
when they are trying to escape from their enemies, they strike 
against the ship's side, and are instantly killed. The largest 
of them are not over twelve inches in length, but their fins are 
much larger in proportion than those of other fish. Sailors 
sometimes eat them, but they are not considered a good 
article of diet. 

An amusing circumstance occurred during the night of the 
9th of November. In our course we passed very near a large 
sail, which, from the night being unusually dark, the officer 
of the deck mistook for the " Vincennes," although sailing on 
a different course. He immediately followed the vessel, and 
continued after her until morning, when, to his surprise, he 
discovered that it was a large Dutch ship. We considered it 
a capital joke, and during the rest of the passage had many 
a hearty laugh over it. When the mistake was discovered we 
resumed our former course, and soon after overtook the 
squadron again. 

On the 10th, llth, 13th, and 14th, we kept watch for the 


periodical showers of stars. Forty were seen in the mid- 
watch of the 13th, proceeding from the Pleiades, and shooting 
in a northerly direction. The weather was now delightful, and 
the southeast trades were wafting us along at the rate of nine 
or ten knots per hour. The nights recalled to our minds the 
beautiful description of the illustrious Humboldt : " One expe- 
riences an indescribable sensation when, as we approach the 
equator, and especially when passing from one hemisphere to 
the other, we see the stars, with which we have been familiar 
from infancy, gradually approach the horizon, and finally 
disappear. Nothing impresses more vividly on the mind of 
the traveler the vast distance which separates him from his 
native country, than the sight of a new firmament. The 
grouping of the large stars, the scattered nebulae rivaling in 
lustre the milky-way, together with some spaces remarkable 
for their extreme darkness, give the southern heavens a 
peculiar aspect. The sight even strikes the imagination of 
those who, ignorant of astronomy, find pleasure in contem- 
plating the celestial vault, as one admires a fine landscape or 
a majestic site. Without being a botanist, the traveler knows 
the torrid zone by the mere sight of its vegetation, and 
without the possession of astronomical knowledge perceives 
that he is not in Europe, when he sees rising in the horizon 
the great constellation of the ship, or the phosphorescent 
clouds of Magellan. In the equinoctial regions, the earth, 
the sky, and all their garniture, assume an exotic character." 
About meridian on the 24th, we made the harbor of Rio 
Janeiro directly ahead. At 4.30 P. M., showed our number 
together with the rest of the squadron, which was answered 
by the United States frigate " Independence," the flag-ship 
of the Brazil station. At 5 we passed Fort St. Cruz, situated 
at the entrance of the harbor, and in the course of half an 


hour more arrived off " Rat Island," where we let-go the 

We were much disappointed not to find the " Relief" here. 
The usual passage for vessels bound to Rio from our ports is 
fifty days, but she had already been out ninety days ; we 
therefore began to feel anxious about her. 

There were a great many foreign vessels in the harbor, and 
not less than fifty or sixty were American, belonging to Balti- 
more and New York. The trade with the United States has 
greatly increased. Within the last two or three years from 
two to three hundred American vessels take and bring cargoes 
to and from the United States. They bring out flour and 
cotton goods, and return loaded with sugar, coffee, India- 
rubber, medicines, and spices of every kind. 

I visited the city as often as my duties would permit, but it 
is too well known to require much to be said of it. It is built 
on the west side of the bay formed by the debouche of the 
river of Janeiro, and has a very picturesque appearance from 
the water. It is the largest and one of the most flourishing 
cities in South America. At the last census Rio Janeiro had 
250,000 inhabitants. It contains many rich churches, two 
hospitals, besides a miserecordia, a college, a museum open 
twice a week, two theatres, one opera, and several public 

The population is perhaps more mixed than that of an; 
other city in the world. It consists of Europeans, mulattocs, 
mamalucoes, or a mixed caste, between whites and aborigines, 
free negroes born in Brazil, manumitted Africans, mestizoes 
or zamboes, between the mamalucoes and negroes, &c., &c. 

The Imperial Palace fronts the Grand Plaza. It is a large 
three- story, stone edifice, with a handsome portico in front. 
The apartments occupied by the royal family are spacious and 


airy, and furnished with regal splendor. Rio is indebted for 
many of its public buildings to Don Pedro I. It was his 
ambition to make the capital of Brazil a second Lisbon. 

The appearance of the city on Sundays is very much the 
same as on week days ; the stores do business, and the work- 
shops are kept open. A few of the inhabitants may be seen 
to attend divine service on that day, but the greater number 
spend their time at the billiard-rooms and theatres. Religion, 
which is Roman Catholic, according to the latest statistical 
accounts, is in a very depressed condition. The revenues of 
the church are so small that few respectable persons will 
undertake its duties*; and those who do officiate are generally 

Another circumstance which struck me very forcibly was 
the immense number of slaves* employed about the streets as 
carriers of coffee and sugar. They go about almost naked, 
and bear upon their bodies the distinctive mark of their tribe. 
They appear to work with cheerfulness, and generally go about 
in gangs with a leader, who sings while they are carrying 
their loads. The song usually relates to their native country, 
and they,all join in the chorus. They constitute a large pro- 
portion of the population of the city. In general, they are 
kindly treated by their masters, and may purchase their free- 
dom. Their color operates less to their prejudice than with 
us. When free they vote, and are eligible to a seat in the 
national legislature, or to any situation in the army and navy. 

-The aqueduct which supplies Rio with water, is a splendid 
and substantial work. It extends from the city to a reservoir 
on the summit of Corcovada mountain, distant about twelve 
miles. This reservoir is supplied by the mountain- vapors 

* Previous to 1830, the number of slaves annually imported into Brazil amounted to 
40,000. Since the prohibition of their importation the numbers have fallen ott'l 1,000. 


which the night temperature converts into copious rains. The 
water is cool, delightful to the taste, and clear as crystal. 

There is a navy-yard at Rio Janeiro. It presents, how- 
ever, but little activity ; for the Brazillian navy is now 
dwindled down to a few vessels ; previous to the abdication of 
Don Pedro I.* it was large and efficient. 

The currency is paper, the gold and silver being mere arti- 
cles of commerce, and consequently subject to great fluctu- 

On the 26th, the " Relief" arrived. Her officers stated 
that the great length of the passage was owing more to calms, 
and variabje winds than bad sailing. There were many days 
during which she did not make more than a mile on her 
course. On the 17th, she fell in with the hull of the brig 
" Nile," of Bath, both masts gone, within a few feet of the 
partners, and her hold was nearly filled with water. It was 
evident she had been in this situation for some time ; clusters 
of shell-fish were fastened to her decks and bulwarks, and 
long sea-weeds flaunted at her sides. As her bowsprit was 
still standing in good condition, Captain Long caused it to be 
cut away, and taken on board the " Relief." Nothing more 
occurred during her passage worthy of notice. 

On the morning of the 27th we hauled up to Enxadas ; landed 
the provisions and stores, and then proceeded to " smoke ship." 
We performed this troublesome and disagreeable operation in 
the hope that we might destroy the roaches, which from the 
time of our leaving the United States, had been a source of the 
greatest annoyance to us. 

Enxadas is also the place where our observatory was erect- 

* Don Pedro I. ascended the throne in 182-2, under the title of Emperor of Brazil. 
After a reign of a few years, the violence of political parties rose to such a height, and 
became so unmanageable, that the Emperor thought it prudent to abdicate in favor of 
his son, the present Emperor. 


cd. It is a small rocky island, situated opposite Rio, with a 
large dwelling-house standing at one end of it, and a number 
of other buildings which were formerly used by shipping as 
store-houses. It is at present the property of a wealthy 
French family, residing in Rio Janeiro, but formerly, we were 
told, it was owned by the church, and the dwelling house 
above mentioned was a nunnery. 

December 1st was the anniversary of the Emperor's birth- 
day, Don Pedro II. The occasion was celebrated with salutes, 
illuminations, and fireworks. 

December 10th. I received orders to relieve Mr. C., on 
board the " Relief," he being obliged to return to the United 
States on account of ill health. 

On the 17th, got under-way, and were towed out the har- 
bor by boats from the " Independence" and " Porpoise," but 
the wind failing soon after the boats left, we let-go the anchor 
to prevent our being drifted on shore by the tide. At an 
early hour next morning the breeze sprung up from the south- 
ward and eastward, and we hove-up the anchor, and stood 
down the coast. 

January 2d. The Barometer was observed to fall from 
29, 84. to 29, 52 ; but the weather remained pleasant. 

During the 4th, many birds were seen ; among others, the 
albatross f diomedia exulans^giant petrel, cape pigeon, and a 
species of gull. 

On the 10th, we passed Cape St. Joseph. This cape is a 
rough, rocky headland, about 150 feet in height. A large 
number of guanacos were seen on a neighboring hill, and a 
great many birds on the beach. 

At daylight on the 21st, made the land near the strait of 
Le Maire. At 9 A. M., passed Staten Land. The aspect 
of this island is wild and savage beyond description, or even 


imagination. At 11 A. M., found ourselves in the Straits of 
Le Maire, and as the wind was unfavorable, we ran into 
the Bay of Good Success, and anchored in thirteen fathoms 

January 22d. Landed in a cove situated near the south- 
west end of the bay. Saw a stream of fresh water about fifty 
feet wide, which discharged itself into the bay ; the w T a,ter was 
of a dark brown color, but of excellent quality. Ascended 
the highest hill in the vicinity of the bay ; found the ascent, 
in consequence of the density of vegetation and looseness of 
the soil, extremely fatiguing, but on reaching the summit, 
thought ourselves amply compensated for all our trouble, by 
the magnificent view afforded us of the surrounding country. 
Several of our number had taken their guns with them, 
expecting to find plenty of game, but were disappointed. We 
saw no living animals of any kind. At daylight we got under 
way, and stood out of the bay with a light breeze, but it soon 
died away, and the ship was drifted back into the bay. About 
6 o'clock, several natives were seen to come opposite the ship, 
and, in order to draw our attention, set up 'a shout. By 
8 o'clock, having drifted back to our former berth, we again 
came to anchor. Soon after this we left the ship in three 
armed boats, to visit the natives. On our landing they came 
running toward us, and after welcoming us to their shores, 
which they did by first placing their hands upon their breasts 
and then pointing to the ground, they commenced crying out, 
" cuchillo," " cuchillo." This being the Spanish for knife, 
and as Wadel in his book states, that they have many Spanish 
words in their language, we were all under the impression they 
were asking if we had any knives to sell. We were, how- 
ever, soon convinced that we had not understood them, for on 
showing them our knives they still kept crying out " cuchillo." 


They also repeated the word when we showed them a string 
of beads, or a looking-glass. In short, although the word was 
kept up during the whole intercourse, it was impossible to 
learn its meaning. They were admirable mimics, and would 
repeat our own words with great accuracy, and even appeared 
to understand some of them. They seemed to attach great 
value to iron and steel, and would readily exchange their bows 
and arrows for a piece of an iron hoop or a few rusty nails. 

The party consisted of fourteen men, and, with the excep- 
tion of the headman, or chief, were all young, well-formed, and 
good-looking. The two sons of the chief were particularly so ; 
they were full six feet in height, and had very pleasing coun- 
tenances. They all had their hair cut short on the crown of 
the head, leaving a narrow border of hair hanging down; 
over this they wear a kind of a cap, or a band, made from the 
skin of an albatross. The front teeth of all of them were very 
much worn, more apparent, however, in the old than in the 
young. Their faces were painted, or, more properly speaking, 
smeared with red and white clay. Their dress consisted of a 
single guanaco skin, which covered the body from the shoul- 
ders down to the knees. All had sore eyes, which we attri- 
buted to their long winters. None of their women or children 
were seen, but we thought they had them concealed in a piece 
of wood not far distant, as they objected to any of us going 
toward it, and showed much alarm when fire-arms were 
pointed in that direction. They appeared to have very little 
curiosity, and nothing seemed to excite their surprise ; their 
principal characteristic seemed to be jealousy. It would 
seem that they have had intercourse with Europeans before. 
The report jof our guns did not frighten them in the slightest 
degree. We also observed on one of them a string of glass 


Their food consists principally of shell-fish and fish. Their 
fishing-apparatus is made of the dorsal-fin of a fish, tied to a 
slip of whalebone in the form of a barb ; this serves as a 
hook, and with it they obtain their food. 

All our endeavors to entice them to come on board by 
friendly treatment, and the offer of presents, were useless. 
They shook their heads and pointed to the woods, and fhen 
ran some distance from the beach, as if they feared that we 
intended to carry them off by force. 

On the 24th we quitted Good Success Bay. We expe- 
rienced during this day a strong current, setting northerly. 
The coast here may be represented as a succession of peaks ; 
some of which rise so high as to be covered with perpetual 
snows. The weather was mild and pleasant. 

On the 25th the wind came out from the southwest, and 
blew very fresh at intervals. At 5 P. M., anchored off 
north-eastern side of New Island. After sunset the weather 
cleared, and we had a very pleasant night. 

On the following morning, after breakfast, we visited the 
shore. We saw no human beings, but found near the beach 
a hut, which bore many traces of being inhabited. It con- 
tained a large number of muscle-shells, which looked fresh, a 
part of a seal-skin, and a large heap of ashes. We also 
observed that the ground about the entrance was hard and 
destitute of vegetation. The hut was constructed of logs, the 
lower ends of which were spread round so as to form nearly a 
perfect circle, while the upper ends leaned against each other. 
The interstices were filled with earth and grass. In the 
centre was a hole, about two feet in circumference, for the 
smoke to pass through. The entrance was from the west, 
and was about three feet in height and two feet wide. 

We had not time to examine much of the interior of the 


island, but that which did come under our observation pre- 
sented a scene which we did not expect to witness in so high 
a latitude. There was an abundance of vegetation, and much 
more advanced than any which was seen at Good Success Bay. 

On the 26th of January we left New Island, and stood to 
the westward. It was very provoking to find that our charts 
so entirely misrepresented this part of the coast and islands, 
as to destroy our confidence in them. At 11 A. M., saw 
what was supposed to be Saddle Island. At meridian it was 
so hazy that we were unable to obtain a meridian observation, 
which was greatly needed, in order to ascertain our true 

On the 27th, at 2 P. M., we anchored in a small harbor. 
At first sight we were under the impression that this was 
Orange Bay, but upon further examination we found that we 
had been deceived ; and at 7 A. M., Lieutenant Underwood 
was dispatched to reconnoitre the coast. 

In the afternoon we took a stroll on shore. The land for 
some miles back from the beach was low, and the soil ap- 
peared less fertile than any we had yet seen. It bore in spots - 
a small red berry, which had a pleasant flavor. Visited A 
hut, in which was found a knife and a piece of Guernse^ 
frock ; the knife was originally a part of an iron-hoop. The 
hut was not in such good preservation as that found on New 

Tlie wild goose, the shag duck, and some others of the 
feathered tribe, were in great abundance here, and many were 
killed by the scientific gentlemen, and their skins preserved 
for -the government. Found, by an excellent meridian obser- 
vation, the latitude of our anchorage to be 55- 20' 30" south ; 
longitude by chronometer, 67 37' 00" west. At sunset Mr 
Underwood returned. 


On the following day we quitted tlie harbor above referred 
to, and coasted along in search of Orange Bay. Passed a 
number of islands, which answered the description given of 
those in the vicinity of Orange Bay by Captain King. At 
6 P. M., came-to in a large, beautiful bay ; it was nearly cir- 
cular in shape, and was bounded on all sides with undulating 
hills, covered with evergreen foliage, to their very summits. 

We had scarcely let-go the anchor when a canoe, with five 
natives ; three men, a woman and child, came alongside. 
Upon invitation two of the men came on board without mani- 
festing the slightest hesitation or distrust, and we were not a 
little surprised to find them so entirely different from those we 
had seen at Good Success Bay. They spoke an entirely 
different language, were of a low stature, ill-shaped, and wore 
their hair long. So great, indeed, was the difference that we 
could no longer doubt that those seen at Good Success were 
Patagonians, and had in all probability come there in quest of 
game ; while these were the real Terra del Fuegians. 

They were not more than five feet high, of light copper- 
color, which was much concealed by smut and dirt ; indeed, 

would be impossible to imagine anything in human nature 

ore filthy and disgusting. They had short faces, narrow 
foreheads, and high cheek-bones. The hair was long, lank 
and black, hanging over the face, and was covered with ashes. 
Their bodies were remarkable, for the great development of 
the chest and shoulders ; their arms were long and out of 
proportion ; their legs were small and very much bowed. 
The woman was young, but no better-looking than the men. 
She was seated at one end of the canoe, and appeared to take 
an equal share with the men in the labors of the paddle. We 
invited her on board repeated!} 7 , but she would not venture ; 
doubtless she was afraid of offending the men, who are very 
. 1 1 


jealous. The child had an interesting countenance, and was, 
I should judge, about three years of age, though it was still in 
arms. It was attired in the same manner as the rest ; a piece 
of seal-skin, about a foot square, tied around its waist, being 
all the poor little thing had on to protect it against one of the 
coldest days that we had yet experienced. 

Our two friends appeared to be much pleased with their 
visit ; their countenances and manner plainly indicated the 
pleasure which they felt on seeing so many new objects. 
When about to leave, we made them some presents in the way 
of clothes, with which they all appeared to be greatly pleased, 
and insisted upon giving us in return some bows and arrows. 
It was very amusing to see them in their new dress ; they 
moved about with strutting affectation of dignity, and gave 
themselves a thousand consequential airs. 

Their imitation of sounds was truly astonishing ; we tried 
them with the flute and guitar, and they followed the sounds 
correctly. They were also found to be great mimics in action ; 
anything they saw, they would mimic, and with an extraor- 
dinary degree of accuracy. They were very talkative, and 
often burst out into a loud laughter when with each other ; 
but whenever they discovered that we were watching them, 
they looked as grave as judges, and said but little. We also 
observed that they spoke to each other in a whisper. 

Their arms consisted of bows, arrows, and spears. They 
use the latter for killing the seal, which is found in great 
abundance in all the bays, and which they esteem to be excel- 
lent food. 

At an early hour next day another canoe, with seven natives, 
came alongside, and asked permission to come on board ; but 
finding it could not be granted so early in the day, they 
paddled off again, and we saw no more of them. 


In the afternoon we visited the Ashore, and very soon fell in 
with the natives, who came on board on the day of our arrival. 
They immediately commenced jumping up and down, which is 
their mode of expressing friendship. One of them, who had a 
pair of pantaloons given him, had them tied round his neck, 
and another had the skirts of his coat cut off; the reason 
he assigned for doing so was that they were in his way. 
Their hut was constructed after the manner of that we saw 
at New Island, and bore quite a neat and comfortable ap- 
pearance. The ground was swept clean, and in the centre a 
large fire was burning, over which hung a string of fish. The 
other articles which it contained were some shells, which were 
carefully laid upon some clean leaves, and the blanket we had 
given to the woman on the previous day. They seldom cook 
their food much. The shell-fish are detached from their shell 
by heat, and the fish are partly roasted in their skins without 
being cleaned. It was evident that, notwithstanding our kind 
treatment to these people, we had not gained their confidence ; 
for, on seeing us approach the hut, the woman fled with her 
child, nor could we prevail upon the men to cause her to return. 

As this harbor was not put down on any of the charts in 
our possession, we believed it to be a discovery, and named it 
after our ship. 

On the 30th, we once more got under-way, and after a 
further search of a few hours, we succeeded in finding Orange 
Bay. Our observations placed it in latitude 55 31' 00" 
south, and longtitude 68 00' 20" west. It is capacious, 
easy of access, and better protected from the southwest winds 
than any place as yet known on the coast of Terra del Fuego. 
About a mile from the southern shore are two islands, the 
largest of which is two miles in length, of a moderate height, 
and called Burnt Island. The land to the southward is rocky 


and barren, but that to the northward abounds in wood and 
water. The trees grow nearly down to the water's edge, and 
some are from sixty to seventy feet in height, having all their 
tops bent to the northeast by the prevailing southwest winds. 
The beach was . covered with rocks of trap formation ; it also 
abounded in shells, especially in the muscle and petela. 

On the morning after our arrival, a canoe with six natives, 
five men and one woman, came off to the ship, bringing with 
them spear-heads and necklaces made of shells, which they 
readily exchanged for cotton handkerchiefs and pieces of iron. 
They were invited to come on board, but at first only one 
would venture ; this was a young man about nineteen years of 
age, and rather good-looking. They were evidently of the 
same race as those we had seen at Relief Harbor ; they spoke 
the same language, and resembled them in their features and 
dress. The woman was old and extremely ugly, and as mas- 
culine in her appearance as any of the men. She declined 
coming on board. Her face was painted black and red in 
vertical lines, and she wore a necklace made of shells ; her 
posture while she remained in the boat was that of a squat. 
Their canoe was made of strips of bark sewed together, and 
strengthened by ribs and gunwale pieces, and was about 
twenty-five feet long and three feet wide. The blades of the 
paddles were so narrow as to be of very little use in a sea way. 
The bottom of the canoe was covered with a layer of clay, 
upon which a fire was kept burning. It would seem from the 
great care they appear to take of- their fire, that, when extin- 
guished, it is no easy matter for them to rekindle it. 

When this party left the ship, they employed themselves for 
several hours in fishing amongst the kelp, and then they pulled 
up towards the head of the bay where their hut was located, 
and which was found to be quite differently constructed from 


any we had previously seen. It was built of boughs, leaves, 
and earth ; in shape it resembled a bee-hive, and was imper- 
vious to wind and snow. The entrance was low and oval- 
shaped. The floor was formed of clay, and in the centre 
was an excavation which contained the fire. 

January 31st. Mr. C. with six seamen, took possession of 
Burnt Island, for the purpose of making observations on 
the tide. He met there several of the natives who had 
visited the ship ; they were out gathering berries, of which 
one kind grows here in great abundance, and has a very 
pleasant flavor ; its color is bright red. 

February 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th, we experienced strong south- 
west gales, accompanied with heavy rain. On the 5th, the 
gale subsided, and the weather became mild and pleasant. 

Mr. C. sent on board a great variety of birds which he 
shot on Burnt Island, and their skins were preserved for 

February 12th. We experienced more very disagreeable 

On the 17th, the schooner " Sea Gull " arrived ; she 
reported the rest of the squadron to be only a few miles off. 

In the course of February 18th and 19th, the " Vin- 
cennes," "Peacock," "Porpoise," and "Flying Fish," 
arrived and anchored. 

On the morning of the 25th, the " Peacock," " Porpoise," 
and the two schooners sailed on a cruise to the South Pole. 
Captain Wilkes took passage in the " Porpoise," and the 
report is that the " Vincennes " will remain here until his 

At 8 A. M., on the 26th, we got under-way, and stood out 
through the southern passage. About 11, passed False Cape 
Horn ; and 00.20' P. M., descried the islands of Ildefonsas. 


March 3d. We had fresh breezes from the westward, 
accompanied with rain and a heavy head sea. The barometer 
was referred to frequently, but was found very fluctuating, 
and gave no indications of the weather. 

During the night of the 6th, the wind increased to such a 
degree as to oblige us to reduce sail to a close-reefed main- 
topsail and fore-storm staysail. 

About noon on the 8th, the gale moderated, and we flattered 
ourselves we should have fine weather once more ; but a little 
before sunset it began to increase again. 

During the 10th and llth, the wind was moderate, but very 
variable, and accompanied with rain at intervals. In the 
afternoon of the last mentioned day an albatross was shot, 
which measured nine feet from the tip of one wing to the tip 
of the other. We caught several smaller ones with hook 
and line. JTo kill these, the region of the brain was pierced 
with a large sewing needle, which produced instant death. 
At sunset the coast of Terra del Fuego was reported in sight 
from aloft. 

On the morning of the 13th an alarm of fire was given ; 
but it proved to be the igniting of the alcohol of the lamp 
belonging to the dispensary, and was soon extinguished without 
doing any damage. 

March 18th. Finding the wind was increasing, wore ship 
and reduced sail. At 1.30 P. M., descried Noir Island under 
our lee ; and soon after the Tower Rocks, a short distance 
ahead, and on our lee bow. The wind continued to increase ; 
the waves rose in mountains, and "the ship was rapidly drifting 
towards the coast of Terra del Fuego. To avoid, therefore, 
being wrecked, after passing Tower Rocks, we hauled up for 
the southeast point of Noir Island, and at 4.45 P. M., came- 
to in seventeen fathoms water with both bower-anchors, 


veering on one cable to 105 fathoms, and on the other to 
120 fathoms. 

The following morning, the gale moderating, we began to 
hope for a favorable change of weather ; but towards sunset 
the wind shifting to the southward, all hope of such change 
vanished. The wind now freshened again, and by midnight 
blew with such force that we let-go our last anchor, in the 
hope of keeping the ship off shore till daylight, when perhaps 
we might make sail and stand out to sea. It was so uncom- 
monly dark, that there was quite as much, and perhaps more 
danger in attempting to get to sea, than in holding on. 

At daylight we found that the larboard bower-chain had 
parted, and the larboard sheet become unshackled at forty- 
five fathoms ; we also found the ship had dragged so as to be 
much nearer the reef off Penguin Point. 

The sky grew more angry as the day declined ; 

" The setting orb in crimson ' seem'd to mourn,' 

Denouncing greater woes at his return ; 

And adds new norrors to the present doom, 

By certain fears of evils yet to come." 

After the sun went down the storm raged with greater vio- 
lence than at any previous time. Never had we seen it blow 
so hard before, nor ever beheld such billows. A little after 
8 o'clock the ship commenced dragging, and a tremendous 
wave came over the bows, which dashed a number of the crew 
against the masts and guns, and completely inundated the 
berth-deck. Though, about 9 o'clock, the wind changed its 
direction, so that the ship tailed clear of the above-mentioned 
reef, yet we were not rescued from the danger of being ship- 
wrecked. At every moment the water was becoming more 
and more shoal. In less than half an hour it shoaled six 


fathoms, and the storm still raged with unabated fury ; how- 
ever, to our great delight, about midnight it began perceptibly 
to moderate. 

We hailed with joy the ray of comfort this afforded us. It 
was like the arrival of an old friend, whose presence in the 
hour of misfortune affords consolation. It was believed that 
we passed within twenty yards of the reef ; * and had the storm 
continued a few moments longer we would inevitably have 
been lost. 

At 3.30 A. M., the ship fell-off before the wind, upon which 
we slipped the remaining cables, made sail, hauled on a wind 
on the larboard-tack, and stood out to sea. By 7 A. M. the 
ship was under whole topsails and mam-top-gallant sail, and 
was rapidly increasing her distance from the spot, which, only 
a few hours before, filled every bosom with so many death-like 

On the 27th, we fell in with the " Montezuma," a whale-ship, 
from Talcauanaha, bound to Nantucket. Her captain informed 
us of the taking of Lima by the Chilian army. He also pre- 
sented us with a quantity of vegetables, for which he received 
our warmest thanks. We had not tasted anything of the 
kind since we left Rio Janeiro. During the night, the breeze 
became very light. 

April 4th. We captured with the hook seven albatrosses ; 
the plumage of two of which was extremely beautiful. This 
is the best mode of taking them when the ship has but little 
head-way. Two were prepared for dinner, but they were far 
from being good eating, the flesh being very tough and fish) 7 . 

At daylight on the 13th, we made the coast of Chili on our 
lee-bow, and at 7 Mount Quillota bore per compass north 60 
east. In the afternoon sent Lieutenant Underwood into 
Valparaiso to procure an anchor. At an early hour on the 



following morning he returned, and reported there was a 
chain-cable in the government stores, but no anchors ; the 
only one to be obtained belonged to H. B. M. ship " Presi- 
dent," which Captain Lock kindly offered us the loan of. 
Received the anchor on board, and got it ready for letting go. 
On the 15th, we came-to in the roads of Valparaiso ; 

" Where Valparaiso's cliffs and flowers, 

In mirror'd wildness, sweep 
Their shadows round the mermaid's bower, 
Our steadfast anchors sleep." 

On the same day the American ship " Meriposa" from New 
York, with stores for the squadron, arrived. Her master was 
kind enough to send us a large file of newspapers, all of which 
we read with infinite satisfaction. 




CHILI is washed on the west by the Pacific Ocean ; on the 
east bounded by the Cordilleras ; on the south by Patagonia ; 
and on the north by Bolivia. Like all other parts of South 
America, it is subject to earthquakes ; deep ravines may be 
seen intersecting the surface in all directions. The appear- 
ance of the coast is far from being inviting, especially in the 
vicinity of Valparaiso ; but there are in the interior many 
extensive and fertile valleys. The southern part is admirably 
adapted to the growth of wheat, of which large quantities are 
now raised. Chili is also rich in mineral productions ; copper 
ore is found in the mountains in the greatest abundance. 

The climate is variable the southern part being, on account 
of its higher southern latitude, considerably colder. At Val- 
paraiso the mean temperature at midday is 65, in the even- 
ing and morning 60. During the winter, which commences 
the first of May and ends in September, the rains sometimes 
last for two or three days, and during their continuance the 
rivers swell to three or four times their usual size. 

Earthquakes are sometimes very violent that of 1835 
nearly destroyed the towns of Talcahuana, Aranco, Talca, 
and Conception. At Valparaiso the sea receded two feet, 
and the ground was much rent. In order to lessen the 
destruction of human life, the houses are usually built low and 
of light material. 



The population of the republic is estimated at one million 
and a half. 

The capital is St. Jago, which is situated at the foot of the 
Cordilleras, and distant about sixty miles from Valparaiso. 
All of our officers who visited it were delighted with it. A 
long line of turrets, domes, and spires, occasionally screened 
by intervening trees, planted along its numerous avenues, 
indicated the city. The population is 60,000. It has a 
national college, a military academy, various private semi- 
naries for both sexes, an extensive hospital, and several hand- 
some churches. 

Valparaiso is the next largest town in the republic, and is 
one of the most flourishing places in the Pacific. In 1820 it 
consisted of fifteen or twenty huts, and now it contains eight or 
nine thousand buildings, and individual houses fetch an annual 
rent of more than three thousand dollars. Its principal street 
runs parallel with the beach is tolerably wide, and contains 
many large and commodious shops, well supplied with English 
goods and various other kinds of merchandise. The remain- 
ing streets are paved, but are narrow and winding. The 
public buildings consist of the churches, the Governor's 
palace, and the custom-house. The dwellings are slightly 
built, and never more than two stories high, on account of 
the earthquakes, and in general have a wooden balcony in 
front. There are many Americans and English living in the 
city, who carry on a lucrative business, the export trade being 
mostly monopolized by them. They reside on the hill in the 
rear of the business part of the town, in neat white cottages, 
surrounded by flower-gardens. This is the most pleasant 
part of the city, and commands a fine view of the har- 
bor. From here may be seen the vessels of the United 
States, England, France, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden, 


displaying their gay flags and mingling their bright streamers 
in the brilliant effulgence of a cloudless sky. 

The police of Valparaiso is celebrated for its efficiency. 
Good order and decorum prevail everywhere. Crime is rarely 
heard of, and never suffered to go unpunished. The credit of 
forming this institution is given to Portales, a man of rare 
talents and great energy of character. It consists of two 
distinct bodies, one mounted, and the other on foot ; the 
former patrol the streets on horseback, while the latter watch 
over a particular ward or district, for which they are held 
responsible. They wear a uniform and a sword, to distin- 
guish them from the other citizens. 

The market is well supplied. Fruits and vegetables are 
abundant and cheap ; the grapes, peaches and pears are of 
the best kinds. Beef is as good as we have at home. There 
is also a great variety of fish. 

The population is estimated at 34,000, and is rapidly 

The principal seaports of Chili are Valdavia, Talcahuano, 
Copiapo, Coquimbo, Chiloe, and Guasco. Talcahuano and 
Valdavia we have in particular heard represented as most 
eligible places for vessels which visit these seas, to touch at. 
As for Valparaiso, it is not a good seaport; it is entirely 
exposed to the ocean from the north, so that, when the wind 
blows with violence from that quarter, which is the case during 
the winter season, a heavy sea sets into it, and renders the 
anchorage highly dangerous. It is, however, more frequented 
than any other harbor. Vessels make it a point to stop 
here, whatever may be their destination. 

The common people of Chili are mixed race, sprung from 
the union of the Spaniards with the native Indian women. 
They are generally well made, of a dark brown complexion, 



and have a healthy look. They bear the best character of any 
of the South Americans. They are honest, industrious, and 
brave. The men are good riders, and very skillful in the use 
of the lasso. The women have very pretty feet and hands. 

Their habitations are built of reeds, plastered with mud 
and thatched with straw. The poncho is universally worn by 
the men ; it is a piece of cloth of a home manufacture, of the 
shape of an oblong square, with a hole in the middle, through 
which the head is passed, the longer ends hanging down to the 
knees before and behind the shorter at each side falling over 
the shoulders. 

Their favorite amusements are the two dances, Fandango 
and Sama Cueca. The latter is performed in cities and large 
towns at the Chingano ; the performers are usually a young 
man and woman, gaudily attired ; they stand on a kind of 
stage, and begin the dance by facing each other, and flirting 
handkerchiefs over each other's heads then they approach 
and retreat alternately occasionally they dart off on each 
side. The whole is well calculated to display the graces of a 
fine figure to the best advantage. Its moral tendency may be 
questioned. Some' of the gestures are quite lascivious, and 
may be easily understood by every one who witnesses the 
scene. The music is executed altogether by females, and 
consists of the harp, the castanets, and the guitar. They also 
add to this a national love-song, sung in Spanish, which the 
audience seem to enjoy more than any other part of the per- 

The higher classes are of a pure Spanish blood, and are 
intelligent and courteous ; they pass their evenings in small 
social assemblies, called Tertulias. The women cannot be 
said to be beautiful, but they are virtuous and amiable. They 
are fond of dancing and music, in both of which they excel. 


Nearly every house is furnished with a piano. They dress 
with much taste, and in the Parisian style. 

The men have been accused by travelers of being indolent ; 
no doubt such was the case when they were under the Spanish 
rule, and had no inducement to be otherwise, but I have been 
assured by foreign gentlemen, who have resided in the country 
for the last fifteen years, that such is not their character at 
the present day ; on the contrary, they are industrious and 

The religion of Chili is the Catholic ; but the government 
has repudiated the interference of the Pope in the appointment 
of bishops and arch-bishops. The clergy have great influence 
over the people, and much political power in the state ; but 
they are liberal in their notions of government, and encourage 
the diffusion of knowledge amongst the lower classes. 

Commerce has more than doubled within the last ten years. 
According to the statistical accounts of the past 3 7 ear, Val- 
paraiso alone exports thirty thousand hides. Grain is sent 
to Peru and Equador in large quantities. Six hundred 
quintals of wool are shipped annually from Conception. Cop- 
per, hemp and platina are largely exported. The iron mines 
are also sources of great wealth, and the miners annually ex- 
tract vast quantities of the ore ; indeed, there is no doubt that 
Chili is blest with all the elements necessary to make her a 
powerful commercial nation. 

The army which was sent to invade Peru in the war just 
concluded, is said to have consisted of 8,000 men, and to have 
been well appointed. The navy is larger, and by far more 
efficient, than that of any of the other South American States. 

The prospects of education are bright. There are several 
good colleges in the republic, and common schools are being 
established in all the towns for the instruction of the lower 


classes ; and the s} r stem of education introduced into the 
schools and colleges is said to be superior. 

The administration of public affairs is better conducted 
than in any other country in South America. Generally 
speaking, the magistrates are men of 'ability and integrity, 
and nowhere else are life and property better protected. Uni- 
versal suffrage is granted by the laws of the constitution to 
every one above twenty-five years of age, and no public 
measure can be carried which is adverse to the welfare of the 

On the 28th of April, General Joaquim Prieto, President 
of Chili, arrived from St. Jago. He was received by the 
inhabitants with all due respect. The civil authorities and the 
military went several miles out of the city to receive him ; the 
batteries saluted, and the streets through which he passed 
were decorated with flags and evergreens. 

On the evening of the 30th, we attended a ball given by the 
citizens of Valparaiso, in honor of the recent victory of Yungai 
over the Peruvians. It was a brilliant affair, equaling any- 
thing of the kind we ever witnessed in the United States, or 
any other part of the world. The place selected for it was a 
space between two large buildings ; temporary arches were 
erected over head, and the whole was covered with an awning, 
lined with blue and studded with stars. The room was 
brilliantly lighted by handsome chandeliers suspended from 
the arches over head ; the floor was carpeted, and the pillars 
which supported the roof were decorated with emblems of the 
victory and nation. At the upper end there was a transpa- 
rency of General Bulnes, the hero of Yungai, surrounded 
with scrolls of his deeds. On the sides were hung paintings 
and rich mirrors, in which hundreds of lights were reflected, 
while the national flags, formed into festoons, intermixed with 


wreaths of flowers and evergreens, encircling emblematic de- 
signs of the nation's glory, produced an effect that was truly 
beautiful. The president's reception-room and the card-rooms 
were also very handsomely decorated. The company amounted 
to five hundred, of whom about one-fourth were ladies ;* many 
native and foreign officers were present, dressed in their uni- 
forms. At 10 o'clock the ball was opened by the president 
in person. He was dressed in a richly- embroidered coat, 
gold epaulettes, and a field-marshal's sash. He is a fine- 
looking man, about fifty years of age. He danced a minuet 
with a lady of Valparaiso, after which the dancing became 
general, consisting of waltzes, contra dances, quadrilles, and 
the sama cueca. The music was very fine, and many marches 
and national airs were played during the intervals between 
the dances. The ball did not break up until 8 o'clock, at 
which hour the president was escorted home by a procession 
of the dancers. His unblemished private character, together 
with the success of his policy toward the Peruvian govern- 
ment, have rendered him extremely popular with all classes of 




ON the 1st of May we sailed for Callao, where we arrived 
after a passage of twelve days. Nothing of interest occurred 
during this period. The wind most of the time was favorable, 
and the weather warm and pleasant. 

We found in port the United States ship " Lexington," 
belonging to the Pacific squadron; also the Chilian fleet, 
amounting to ten sail, commanded by Admiral Blanco, an 
English and a French frigate, and about fifty merchant ves- 
sels, six of which were American. 

Callao, the seaport of Lima, is celebrated for its safety and 
convenience. The island of St. Lorenzo shelters it from the 
swell of the ocean to the west, and there is no danger from 
any other direction. The Mole affords every facility for 
landing goods from the boats. Water is conducted to the 
Mole by an aqueduct, and a railway conveys the goods to the 
far-famed fortress,* which is now converted into a depot. 
There are a number of sentries stationed on the Mole night 
and day for the double purpose of preserving order among the 
boatmen, and to aid the custom-house in preventing smuggling, 
which, notwithstanding, is carried on to an extent that is 

* It was here that the last stand of the royalist was made in New Spain ; and it was 
in the same castle that the brave Rodil, with a handful of devoted followers defended 
themselves with heroic courage against the insurgents in 1826. Surrounded, but 
not dismayed, they still kept their assailants at bay, until famine stalked before them, 
and they were forced to yield. History tells us that horse-meat sold among the be- 
sieged for a gold ounce the pound, and a chicken for its weight in the same pre- 
cious metal ! 


hardly credible. This is effected by the owner of the goods 
bribing the custom-house officials. 

The town is situated several miles from the site of old 
Callao,* and numbers about five thousand inhabitants. It 
has not much to recommend it. The only well-built houses are 
those on the main street. The churches and other public 
buildings are too insignificant to deserve description. 

The market is held in a large open square. Oranges, 
apples, figs, grapes, granadillas, and chirimoyas, are abundant 
in their season. Vegetables of every sort are also to be had. 
Beef is cut into small pieces to suit the purchasers, and 
poultry is cut up in a similar manner ; the former is killed 
in the outskirts of the town, and the hide, head and entrails 
are left for the buzzards, which are very numerous and pro- 
tected by law ; the rest of the carcase is brought to market 
on the backs of donkeys. 

The inhabitants are addicted to gambling, and pass most 
of their time at the billiard- rooms and monte- tables. 

The old castle claimed our attention ; it covers a large ex- 
tent of ground, and its walls are high and very massive. One 
of the officers told us that it was capable of quartering ten 
thousand troops. It was once looked upon as the key of the 
country. Whichever party had it in possession, were con- 
sidered masters of Peru. As I have already remarked, it is 
now used as a depot for goods, and is nearly dismantled only 
five of the guns remain out of the 140 which it mounted ; the 
metal of these is brass, and their proportions are beautiful. 
The garrison consisted of eight hundred men. I cannot say 
much for their personal appearance ; they were quite short, 

* Old Callao was destroyed by the memorable earthquake of 1746. In the same 
earthquake a first-class frigate, lying in the harbor, was lifted several hundred feet 
and carried inland a considerable distance, where a monument was erected to com- 
memorate the event. 



had an awkward gait, and dull, stupid countenances. If they 
are a fair specimen of the soldiers of the country, it is no won- 
der that the Chilians have been able to conquer it so easily. 

The distance from Callao to Lima is about eight miles, and 
stages run between the two places almost every hour in the 
day ; the fare is one dollar. The road leads over a plain, but 
it is not kept in good repair, and is, besides, very dusty, on 
account of the extreme dryness of the climate. In this part 
of Peru, there are heavy dews, but no rain. 

We had an opportunity of visiting the " City of the Kings"* 
several times. We went up in the coaches, and always set out 
at an early hour, that we might avoid the heat of the sun and 
the dust. During the first ten or fifteen minutes of the ride, 
we saw nothing to interest us, for we were passing through the 
filthy streets of Callao, and its still more filthy outskirts. Of 
all the places we have as yet visited, civilized or uncivilized, 
Callao has been the most filthy and disgusting. When about 
two miles out, we passed Bella Vista, which, ever since the 
revolution, has been in ruins. 

We next came to the so-called half-way house, where the 
drivers invariably stop to rest the horses, and to regale them- 
seves with a glass of pisco from its dirty pulperia. This part 
of the road wa,s formerly infested by banditti, and no one 
thought of appearing on it without being well armed ; but now 
this is not necessary, as the police has taken steps to disperse 
the robbers. 

Resuming our course, we soon reached a section of country 

* The name bestowed on the infant capital was Curdad de los Reges, or City of 
Kings, in honor of the day, being the 6th of January, 1535, the Festival of Epiphany, 
when it was said to have been founded by Pizarro. But the Castilian name ceased to be 
used even within the first generation, and was supplanted by that of Lima, into which 
the original Indian name was corrupted by the Spaniards. Prescott's Conquest of Peru, 
vol. ii. 

LIMA. 57 

laid out in gardens, filled with all kinds of fruit-trees, shaded 
walks, lined on either hand with stone seats, and intersected 
with running streams of water. It is the usual evening-drive 
of the Limineans, and a delightful one it is. In a few minutes 
more we found ourselves passing under the great gate of the 
city. Its aspect is that of rapid decline ; there is no stir or 
life among the inhabitants ; many of the shops are closed, and 
hundreds of houses are untenanted, and in a state of decay. 
The streets are broad and paved, and many of them have a 
stream of water running through their centre. It is not, how- 
ever, a clean-looking city, for these streams are used for very 
disgusting purposes, and buzzards are seen feeding all over 
the city. 

The style of building is well adapted to the climate and 
nature of the country. Most of the dwellings are of two 
stories, with a spacious court in front; the main object of 
these courts, is to afford the inhabitants a place of refuge when 
the city is threatened with earthquakes, which is a very fre- 
quent occurrence. The material employed in the construction 
of the walls, is sun-burnt brick. The roofs are perfectly flat, 
and the ground-floor is used as store-rooms and stables. 

The population is estimated at 40,000. In the time of the 
Viceroys, it is said to have been 70,000. 

The Grand Plaza contains several acres, and should be 
visited by the stranger, if he wishes to form a correct idea of 
a life in Lima. From sunrise till sunset it is filled with 
people. On two sides of the Plaza stand the portales, or 
arcades, where all kinds of dry-goods and fancy articles are 
sold. The cathedral and the arch-bishop's palace occupy 
the east side of the plaza, and that of the viceroy's the south 
side ; this last has now become the residence of the presidents, 
and, although it covers a great extent of ground, there is 

68 LIMA. 

nothing very attractive in its architecture. The fountain in 
the centre of the plaza is a splendid piece of work, and was 
erected, according to the inscription, in 1600, by Don Garcia 
Sarmiento Sotomayer, the then Viceroy, and Captain-General 
of Peru. 

In this plaza, the Saya y Manta, or the peculiar dress of 
the Lima ladies, is seen to the best advantage. It is certainly 
a very bewitching attire, for it betrays the whole outline of the 
female figure ; neither does it conceal the foot and ankle, 
which, when prettily shaped, (and those of the Liminean ladies 
are rarely otherwise,) are a charming sight, especially to 
bachelors ; but, on the other hand, the Saya y Manta offers 
strong inducements to carry on a love-intrigue, and for that 
reason was once put under the ban of a legislative statute. It 
still survives, however, and is worn by the ladies of the best 
families. It consists of a kind of hood and a petticoat, both 
usually made of black satin, with numerous vertical folds. 
The manta, or upper garment, is fastened at the waist, and is 
.so gathered over the head and shoulders as to conceal every 
thing but the right eye and the right hand. The disguise is 
so complete that a husband may meet his wife in the streets, 
or any of the public places, without being able to recognize 
her ; and it is, no doubt, too true, that it has been the means 
of destroying the peace and happiness of many a Liminean 
family. It is asserted that the original intention of this singu- 
lar costume, was to enable a lady to go out in the morning to 
mass, or shopping, before she made her toilet. 

The Almeda is extensive and handsomely laid out. The 
walks are lined with rows of willows on each side ; its centre 
is ornamented with fountains, and artificial streams of water 
run parallel with the walks. Towards evening it is very 
much resorted to by the ladies and gentlemen, and I have seen 


Lima Costumes. 

LIMA. 59 

there some of the former, who were really beautiful. The 
women of Lima are usually handsome, but their minds are 
neglected, nor are their morals what they should be. 

There are other sights in Lima well worth seeing ; among 
the rest, the Convent of St. Francisco, which covers about 
eight acres of ground. In former times it must have been 
equal to anything of the kind in the world. Its cloisters 
are ornamented with fountains and flower-gardens, and the 
chapels are rich in gilding and carved- work. Part of the con- 
vent is now occupied as barracks, and the soldiers' muskets are 
stacked on the altars of several of the chapels. We observed 
in the church a shrine and an image of St. Benedict, with a 
jet-black infant Saviour in his arms ! There are but few 
Friars here at present, but in the days of its prosperity there 
were four hundred connected with it, and had an income suited 
to the easy and luxurious style in which they lived. Its collec- 
tions of paintings have been highly spoken of by connoisseurs. 

I attended the theatre several times ; it is a spacious, 
handsome edifice, and seemed to be well supported, although 
the performances were of a very ordinary character. The 
acting-president, Lafuente, was present each time, dressed in 
his uniform ; but he did not appear to receive much attention 
from the audience, and I was subsequently told that he was 
not generally popular with the people, as he was in favor of 
the Chilians, and, in fact, owed his present position to them. 
He has the Spanish features, and appears to be about fifty 
years of age. The ladies in the galleries wore the saya and 
manto, and made great display in ornaments. 

During our stay in Lima there were no bull-baits, although 
it is a common and a favorite amusement with all classes of 

The present state of Peru is far from being promising, if 


we may be allowed to judge from wbat we saw and heard dar- 
ing oar stay in the country. The Chilian army was still 
quartered in Lima, at the expense of its devoted inhabitants. 
Public confidence was destroyed, commerce at a stand, the 
mines were neglected, the people looked discouraged, ^nd war 
with Bolivia was inevitable, unless Gamara, the present in- 
cumbent and usurper, placed by force in the Presidential-chair 
by the Chilians, was removed. The most uncompromising 
hostility is evinced by the Bolivian government towards the 
administration of this president ; and we were assured, both 
by intelligent natives, and foreigners, that until he shall be 
banished from the country, no reconciliation of affairs can take 
place between the two governments. The English, also, were 
very clamorous, and threatening to sieze upon the revenue of 
the country, if their claims were not speedily attended to. 
Indeed, it seemed to have every trouble before it. 

The people are as yet in infancy as regards self-govern- 
ment. Instead of taking matters in their own hands, they 
allow themselves to be governed by a faction of military men, 
whose only desire is their own self-aggrandizement. A few 
months since they met to make some new elections, but they 
allowed Gamara to overthrow them, and by force of arms 
destroy their ballot-boxes ; and nothing is more common than 
to hear of officers being exiled, and rich citizens stripped of 
their wealth, merely for their political opinions. Nor is this 
all : The depraved morals of the church are proverbial in 
Peru; and there is scarcely a crime perpetrated, of which its 
members are not guilty. Even on the Sabbath the priests 
may be seen resorting to the theatres, billiard-rooms and 
gambling-houses. The public revenue of this fine country is 
imposed in the most oppressive manner, and impoverishes the 
people from whom it is collected. The hordes of robbers it 


nourished during the revolutionary war, still continue to annoy 
its peace; and there is, perhaps, no country in the world 
where murder and robbery are so prevalent. Until a better 
state of things be brought about, its improvement is hopeless. 

On the llth of June, the " Porpoise" arrived from Val- 
paraiso. She reported that the " Vincennes," " Peacock," 
and " Flying Fish," were to have followed her in a few days. 
As for the " Sea-Gull," she had not been seen or heard from 
since the time she was separated from the " Flying Fish" in a 
storm off Cape Horn. 

On the 19th, the " Peacock" arrived, and the United States 
ship " Lexington" sailed for the coast of California. The 
following report was now very current, namely, that as soon 
as the " Vincennes" arrived, this ship would be detached from 
the squadron, and ordered to return home. 

June 20th, the " Vincennes" made her appearance, and 
anchored near us. We understood she left Lieut. Thomas 
Craven at Valparaiso, with orders that if the "Sea-Gull"* 
did not arrive there by a certain time, to charter a vessel and 
go in search of her. It was the opinion of many of the officers 
that she was lost. 

On the 21st, I received orders to report for duty on board 
the " Peacock," it having been decided that the " Relief" 
should return to the United States, after taking a cargo of 
stores for the expedition, to Sydney, New South Wales. 

* She did not arrive at Valparaiso at the appointed time, and Lieutenant Craven 
acted agreeably to his orders ; but he could neither find or hear anything of her. 




AT 5.30 P. M., July 13th, we quitted Callao, with a light 
breeze from the southward and westward, " Vincennes," " Por- 
poise," and " Flying Fish," in company. 

The day following, it being Sunday, Mr. Elliot, the chaplain 
of the " Vincennes," came on board and performed divine 

August 5th. During this day the heat was exceedingly 
oppressive, although the thermometer did not at any time 
stand higher than 80. In the evening zodiacal lights were 
visible until half-past eight. In the course of the night many 
meteors were observed, some of which were remarkable for 
their brilliancy. At meridian, the latitude was 18 08' 30 
south, and longitude 122 25' 45" west. 

August 13th. At 1.30 P. M., made the Island of Caler- 
mont de Tonnerre, bearing west-by-south half-south, and 
distant about -six miles. 

At first sight the island appeared like a forest growing in 
the middle of the ocean, so low is the land. It is of coral* 

* The collective labors of united lithophytes raise their cellular dwellings on the 
crust of submarine mountains, until after thousands of years the structure reaches 
the level of the ocean, when the animals which have formed it die, leaving a low, 
flat coral island. How are the seeds of plants brought so immediately to these new 
shores ? by wandering birds, or by the winds and waves of the ocean ? The distance 
from other coasts makes it difficult to determine this question ; but no sooner is the 
newly raised islands in direct contact with the atmosphere, than there is formed on 
its surface, in our northern countries, a soft, silky net-work, appearing to the naked 
eye as colored spots and patches. Some of these patches are bordered by single or 


formation, with an extensive lagoon* in the centre, and is 
encircled by reefs and rocks, against which the surf beats 
with great violence. At 5 A. M., tried the current, and 
found it setting north-west-by-west half-west, one fathom per 
hour. Wishing to survey the island, we " lay-to" during the 

August 14th and 15th. At early daylight made all sail and 
stood for the island we discovered yesterday, and by 10 A. M. 
were so near it that we could distinguish with the naked eye 
the natives standing on the beach. These savages walked 
about in groups, and appeared to be armed. At 11 A. M., 
we proceeded with the rest of the squadron to take our station 
for surveying. In the afternoon several of the " Vincennes" 
boats effected a landing, but were not very courteously received 
by the natives. They assembled in considerable numbers on 
the beach, and commanded our people to return to the ships. 

double raised lines running round the margins ; other patches are crossed by similar 
lines traversing them in various directions. Gradually the light color of the patches 
becomes darker, the bright yellow which was visible at a distance changes to brown, 
and the bluish-gray of the lepraides becomes a dusty black. The edges of neighbor- 
ing patches approach and run into each other ; and on the dark ground thus formed 
there appear other lichens of circular shape, and dazzling whiteness. Thus, an or- 
ganic film or covering, establishes itself by successive layers, and, as mankind in 
forming settled communities, pass through different stages of civilization, so is the 
gradual propagation and extension of plants connected with determinate physical 
laws. HUMEOLDT. 

According to another high authority, (Charles Darwin,) the process of formation 
is the following : He supposes a mountainous island, surrounded by a coral reef, (a 
fringing reef attached to the shore,) to undergo subsidence ; the fringing reef which 
subsides with the island is continually restored to its level by the, tendency of the 
coral-animals to regain the surface of the sea, and becomes thus, as the island gradu- 
ally sinks and is reduced in size, first, an "encircling reef," at some distance from 
the included islet, and subsequently when the latter has entirely disappeared, an 
atoll. According to this view, in which islands are regarded as the calumniating 
points of a submerged land, the relative positions of the different coral-islands would 
disclose to us that which we could hardly learn by the sounding-line, concerning 
the configuration of the land, which was above the surface of the sea at an earlier 

* Lagoon, is the Spanish word for Lake. 


Finding the order was not heeded, they commenced throwing 
stones at the boats and brandishing their spears, nor could 
they be induced to desist until a musket or two, loaded with 
blank cartridge, had been discharged at them.* It was re- 
marked that these islanders were in general tall and exceed- 
ingly well-formed. Their complexion was dark-brown, and 
their hair black and strait. The chiefs had their hair drawn 
back and tied in a knot behind ; the others had theirs hanging 
loose. Their bodies were perfectly naked, except around the 
waist, to which was fastened a small maro made of leaves. 
No tattooing was observed upon either ..' men or women. 
The dress of the latter consisted of a piece of tapa, large 
enough to cover nearly the whole body. 

The spear appeared to be the only weapon which they 
possessed ; these were from ten to fifteen feet long, and 
pointed at both ends. They understood and spoke the Ta- 
hitian dialect. 

Throughout the night we observed a large number of fires 
burning on the beach, which we concluded were alarm- fires. 

August 16th. At 9 A. M., filled away, and steered for 
Serle Island, and by noon came up with it, and commenced 
surveying operations. This ship had no communication with the 
island, but the other vessels had, and from them we learn that 
it has a few inhabitants, and that they are of a more friendly 
disposition than those found on Calermont de Tonnerre. 

The island, according to our survey, is seven miles long and 
one and a quarter in width. It is situated about twenty-five 
miles to the northward and westward of Calermont de Ton- 
nerre, and both its formation and vegetation are similar to 
that island. 

August 19th. This afternoon made Homden, or Dog 
Island ; landed, and found it covered with trees arid shrub- 


bery, and abounding in turtles and birds the latter being so 
tame that they allowed themselves to be caught by the hand ; 
the most conspicuous among the^m was the frigate-bird. 
They were seen as they flew oft' inflating their huge pouches, 
and looking as if they had a large bladder attached to their 
necks. Immense quantities of fish were also found in the 
lagoon ; but human beings there were none, or even the traces 
of any ; neither the remains of huts, nor canoes, nor marks of 
fire, were anywhere visible. There were a great many sharks 
both in the lagoon and outside, and they were so ravenous as 
to bite at the oars of the boats. 

Large and valuable collections were made in all the 
scientific departments. Some beautiful specimens of coral 
were procured here. 

Our observations placed the island in latitude 14 56' 00" 
south, and longitude 138 48' 00" west. 

August 23d. In the morning the barometer began to fall 
rapidly, the horizon lowered to the southward and eastward, 
and soon after the wind blew with such violence as to compel 
us to close-reef the topsails. Towards noon we discovered 
Disappointment Islands on the lee bow, and in the course of 
the day frequently observed the natives standing on the beach 
and cautiously watching our movements. 

These islands are two in number, called Wytoohee and 
Otoohoo, and were discovered in 1765. They trended nearly 
east and west, and are bounded by reefs and rocks. They 
are well covered with trees of the cocoa-nut and pandanus 

About sunset, saw a canoe pulling along the shore. 

Lay- to during the night, in order to survey the islands next 

August 24th and 25th. At early daylight made all sail, 


and stood in for the land. At 10 A. M., nine canoes, 
from two to three natives in each, came off to the ship. They 
approached near enough to seize the ropes we threw them to 
hold on by, but declined coming on board. They were very 
gay and talkative, and every few minutes would entertain us 
with a song which we supposed to have been made up for the 
occasion, and to have an allusion to our coming among them. 

They were a good-sized people, with dark-brown complexions, 
and lively, interesting countenances. Their hair was black 
and a little curly. Some had beards and a moustache. 
Their dress consisted of a piece of matting fastened to the 

We very much admired their canoes ; they were beautifully 
shaped, and so ingeniously put together that it was some time 
before we were able to determine whether they were formed 
of several pieces or one entire piece. They were made of a 
number of pieces of cocoa-nut wood sewed together with bark, 
and each was furnished with an out-rigger. The paddles were 
from three to four feet long, and the blade on one side was a 
little curved. 

These natives knew the use of iron, and coveted its posses- 
sion so much, that even when we had our eyes upon them 
they tried to steal all that. came within their reach; two men 
were seen twisting and pulling away at the main-chain plates, 
while others tried to draw the bolts out of the ship's side. 

Their weapons were spears and clubs, several of which were 
purchased for the government. In the bows of several of the 
canoes were some species of shell-fish, which were intended as 

Towards noon the canoes returned to the shore, and we 
proceeded to ply to windwardj in order to take our station 
for surveying. 


When this was finished several of the scientific gentlemen 
visited the largest of the islands Wytoohee. They had not 
been landed long when they encountered seven of the inhabi- 
tants. These at first received them with an air of respect 
blended with fear ; but when they were made to understand 
that they had nothing to apprehend, they smiled, rubbed noses* 
with the gentlemen, and then invited them to their huts. 
There they spread mats for them to sit on, and treated them 
with the milk of the fresh cocoa-nut, which they found to be 

No women or children were seen, and the gentlemen sup- 
posed they had been sent off by the men. 

They were highly pleased with a chisel and some pieces of 
iron that were given them. Their huts were inferior to those 
seen about Cape Horn, and their baskets and other articles 
were suspended on the trees. 

The scientific gentlemen having returned, we resumed our 

Aug. 29th. This morning we made an island a-head which 
is not marked on any of the charts ; considered it a new 
discovery, and named it after the man who first reported it in 
sight King. 

In the afternoon, Captains Wilkes and Hudson, and Lieu- 
tenant Emmons and myself, effected a landing on the western 
side of the island. Near the beach we found the remains of 
two huts and a canoe. Further on we saw some fish-bones 
and a large heap of cocoa-nut shells, and also a piece of a 
fishing-net. Proceeding then in a southeast direction, we soon 
came to a lagoon, upon the shores of which we found a raft 
and a large quantity of cocoa-nuts some of which, as might 
be supposed, we eagerly enough took possession of. The 

* This is the usual mode of salutation. 


lagoon was several miles in circumference, and, like all those 
we had seen before, abounded in curious fish. 

As it was already late in the day, and" the ships " laying- 
to" a considerable distance from our boats, we did not deem 
it prudent to continue the examination. We were, however, 
perfectly satisfied the island was uninhabited, except by birds, 
turtles, arid rats, and that the huts we found near the beach 
had been erected by the men of some vessel engaged in the 
pearl fishery.* 

Though the soil was light, there was no want of vegetation. 
The cocoa-nut, pandanus, and other subjects of the vege- 
table kingdom, grew in the greatest abundance in all parts of 
the island. Fresh water, however, we saw none, except here 
and there in pools. The shells found on the beach were the 
turbo, volutis, venus, and the pearl oyster. 

At the distance of two hundred yards from the shore we 
could find no bottom with the hand-lead ; boats may approach 
very near the beach. Harbors there are none. The whole 
island is of coral formation, and our observations placed it 
in latitude 15 44' 00" south, and longitude 14 45' 15" 

August 30th. During this day we had frequent showers 
of rain. At 6 A. M., when King's Island bore northeast, 
descried land bearing southwest steered for it ; it proved to 
be the Island of Raraka. This island is very narrow, and 
higher than any we have yet seen. There are a few transient 
inhabitants on it, left by an English schooner in quest of 
pearls one of them is a white man, the others are natives, 
of Tahati. In other respects it so much resembles the island 

* The vessels engaged in this fishery belong to foreigners who reside at Tahiti. The 
mode of taking the oysters is by natives, who are employed as divers for a small com- 


we discovered yesterday as to render any further description 

We made the Tahitians several presents, and they in 
return gave us some hooks made of mother-of-pearl. 

We observed on the beach two double canoes. Found the 
position of the island to be, latitude 16 03' 00" south, longi- 
tude 145 03' 00" west. 

August 31st. We had scarcely quitted Raraka when 
another island was descried to the northward and westward, 
which was not laid down on the charts. It is very long and 
narrow. In some places it is well clothed with trees and 
other subjects of the vegetable kingdom ; in others it is 
entirely naked. This is particularly the case towards the 
northward and westward, where it is so low that the sea 
washes over it and forms large pools. Here and there on the 
beach we observed large detached pieces of coral, some of a 
square shape, others round, and of a color nearly black. 

This island is destitute of harbors. The lagoon was 
very extensive and apparently deep, and as far as the 
eye could reach appeared entirely free from banks and 

Noodies and Curlews were the only kind of inhabitants we 
found on the island. Not a human being was seen anywhere, 
or even the traces of any. 

We named the island Vincennes. It is situated in latitude 
16 08' 04" south, and longitude 144 59' 45" west. 

September 3d. Having finished the survey of Vincennes 
Island, we stood for Karlshoff's Island, discovered by the Rus- 
sians. As we approached we perceived the natives making 
signals to us to land, which invitation we accepted. They 
received us kindly, inviting us to their huts, and doing all in 
their power to render our stay agreeable. They informed us 


that they emigrated from the Chain Islands.* Their houses 
are little better than sheds, but kept very clean ;- the furni- 
ture consisted of some mats, which were spread over the floor, 
some half-dozen glass bottles, and a calabash or two, in which 
they keep their water. 

We obtained from them several pigs, some cocoa-nuts, and 
a few shells. Of all the articles we offered them, they gave a 
decided preference to calico, tobacco, and knives. Looking- 
glasses, beads, and such like trinkets, they would scarcely 
receive. On taking leave of our friends, we took a short walk 
into the interior of the island. It is well covered with trees, 
among which the cocoa-nut makes a conspicuous appearance. 
The lagoon is several miles in cirumference, and is well-stored 
with fish, which constitutes the principal food of the inhabi- 

September 6th. At an early hour commenced surveying 
Waterland. This island was discovered by the Dutch, and 
is situated in latitude 14 26' 55" south, and longitude 
145 12' 00" west. It is covered with luxuriant vegetation, 
and has an extensive lagoon. 

In the afternoon we landed on the western side, and took a 
series of observations on the dipping-needle. Four men were 
the only natives we saw here ; they very much resembled 
those we found at Raraka. 

One of the boats remained ashore a long time after the 
signal for her return was made. The officer in charge gave 
as the cause for this, that he discovered that one of the 
crew was missing, and he was waiting for him to return. 
Some supposed that the man strayed from the boat, but I am 
of the opinion that he deserted. His name is Penny has 

* These islands are under the government of Tahiti. The inhabitants were formerly 
cannibals ; but now missionaries are established among them, and they have made 
many advances in civilization. 


been much among the islands engaged in the pearl-fishery, 
and speaks the Tahitian language well. 

September 7th. During this day we surveyed and examined 
another island, not down on the charts. We found it pretty 
much the same as the rest, with no inhabitants, but bearing 
evident marks of its being recently visited by pearl-fishermen. 
The lagoon terminates within a few yards of the sea- shore, 
and is so shallow that it can be forded. Numbers of cocoa- 
nut trees were found growing on the margin. 

Captain Wilkes, with several of the Vincennes officers, 
landed here to observe the eclipse of the sun, just as we got 
into our boat to return to the ship. We named the island 
after our ship Peacock. It is situated in latitude 14 32' 00" 
south, and longitude 146 20' 45" west. 

September 8th. At 7 A. M. made Rurick Island, dis- 
covered by Captain Kotzbue, of the Russian service. Soon 
after sent two boats to examine it, but only one succeeded in 
effecting a landing, on account of the violence of the surf. 
The place was a small cove, round the shores of which were a 
number of houses, and hard by a fine cocoa-nut grove. No 
people were to be found in any of these houses, but the other 
boat saw plenty along the beach ; they appeared to be a mild, 
inoffensive people. No arms were seen about them. 

September 9th. During these twenty-four hours we made 
a flying survey of Dean's Island. Judging from appearances, 
(for the weather would .not permit our leaving the ship,) the 
character of this island is similar to those which have been 
already described. 

We are now clear of the Coral Islands, and really we are 
glad of it. They soon ceased to interest us ; nay, towards the 
last we almost sickened at the very sight of them ; they all 
seemed to us alike. In vain did we look for a change or 


variety; they invariably presented the same uniform ap- 
pearance, the same uniform flatness, the same scenery. 

September 10th. This morning we found ourselves in sight 
of the island of Aurora. In many places the coast of this 
island rises abruptly and precipitately from the sea to the 
height of six or seven hundred feet ; the interior is diversified 
with hill and dale, thus forming a pleasing contrast to the dull 
and monotonous scenes we had been accustomed to for some 
time past. The soil in the valleys is fertile, and produces 
abundance of sweet potatoes, yams, and tarro, as also several 
kinds of fruit. 

The inhabitants are of a Tahitian extraction, and like 
them have embraced Christianity, and established schools. 
All the men we saw, and most of the women, were tattooed. 
In trading with them, we found that they preferred old clothes 
and cotton-stuffs to anything else. They took us for mis- 
sionaries at first, and I believe that many of them are of that 
opinion still, a circumstance which shows that their intercourse 
with the whites has been confined to that class of men. In- 
deed, this can never be very extensive, as the island affords no 

When the boats which had been sent ashore to take some 
observations, returned, we made all sail again, and stood for 

" Huzza for Otaheite ! was the cry, 
As stately swept the gallant vessel by ; 
The breeze springs up, the lately flapping-sail 
Extends its arch befofe the growing gale." 




AT 5 P. M., September 12th, we at length reached Tahiti, 
and anchored in Matavai Bay, in fourteen fathoms water. 
The shores of this island, as far as we could see, were well 
clothed with the tropical trees peculiar to Polynesia, but the 
interior appeared very uneven, and was almost destitute of 
other vegetation than that of grasses. Many of these hills are 
very curiously shaped some are conical, some pyramidal, 
others castellated. 

A coral-reef, with occasional openings, surrounds the island. 
Between this and the shore there is a continuous channel for 
boat-navigation, and on the northern side there are many safe 
and commodious harbors for large vessels. 

The fertile portion of the island lies in the valleys, and in 
the plain which extends from the sea-shore to the base of the 
mountains. These produce tropical plants in great abundance 
and luxuriance, and are well watered. 

The cottages of the natives are to be found in retired and 
beautiful spots. They are indolent, but are mild and amiable 

We had no sooner let-go the^mchor than we were environed 
with canoes, laden with poultry, pigs, tarro, yams, bananas, 
cocoa-nuts, via apples and oranges. Yet, notwithstanding 
this profusion, we found everything very dear. There were 
from two to three men in each canoe, few only had any women 


in them, and these, if we may be allowed to judge from their 
behavior, were not the most chaste. They wore a loose 
dress resembling a night-gown, and had their hair decorated 
with a profusion of flowers. The Tahitian women are very 
fond of flowers, but the use of them in dress has been dis- 
couraged by the resident missionaries, who have declared that 
such vanities are unbecoming Christians. Consequently, when 
they are to appear before their teachers, they dispense with 
this simple and harmless ornament. 

The governor of the district of Matavai, Taua, called on 
us at an early moment. He came alongside in a whale-boat, 
and it was soon found that his visit was not one of mere cere- 
mony, but was intended to engage our washing, a business 
w y hich is monopolized by the chiefs. He is a large, fine-looking 
man, about 45 years of age. He was dressed in a striped 
cotton-shirt, nankeen pantaloons, and a round jacket of blue 
cloth. He has a large establishment near Point Venus, and 
he invited the officers to come there whenever they visited the 

About dusk some dozen women, of a character similar to 
those above alluded to, came alongside, and applied for per- 
mission to come on board, but finding their request could not 
be granted they returned to the shore again. Several of these 
females were certainly not more than twelve or thirteen years 
of age. Were all visitors to act in like manner, these de- 
praved females would not be so numerous as they are at 
present ; but, I regret to say, that the opposite course is usu- 
ally pursued. It is due to thWmissionaries to state such facts, 
for they certainly add very much to their other difficulties, in 
trying to improve the moral and religious condition of the 
natives. Who will deny that bad example may not prove 
even more potent than the most wholesome teachings 1 


September 13th. This morning the sick were sent on 
shore, where they will have more comforts than it is possible 
for them to receive on board the ship. The climate here is 
said to be uncommonly salubrious, and invalids coming from 
other parts rapidly recover their health. 

After quarters we gave the natives permission to come on 
board with their merchandise. Some supposed this would 
have a tendency to make them reduce somewhat their exorbi- 
tant prices, as it would give rise to competition ; it however 
produced no such effect. Among other articles they brought 
on board were several kinds of shells, which we had not seen 
before. Some of them had also pearls for sale. They pro- 
cure these when they are employed by European vessels that 
are engaged in that trade. 

In the afternoon I took a walk on the road leading to Pa- 
peite, the capital of the island, situated about seven miles to 
the westward of Matavai. I found the traveling exceedingly 
bad, until I reached what is called " One-tree Hill." The 
road, or rather path, difficult thus far from its steepness and 
ruggedness, was rendered infinitely more so by the recent rains. 
In some places it was so slippery that I was forced to make 
use of my hands as well as feet. With the remainder of the 
walk I was highly delighted. I sauntered along over a broad, 
level road, lined on either side with groves of the orange and 
bread-fruit trees, sprinkled with the habitations of the natives, 
and intersected by numerous streamlets. Indeed, the scene 
was one of the most beautiful I ever beheld. 

The houses were all constracted in the primitive style, 
which consists of an oval-shaped roof, supported by round 
sticks, from two to three inches in diameter, placed some dis- 
tance apart, so as to allow a free admission of air. Neat 
grass paths, fringed with flowers, from the pure white to the 


bright red and yellow, and filling the air with their sweet 
odors, lead from one house to the other through the groves, 
while the surrounding trees were literally alive with songsters 
of every plumage imaginable. 

I entered several of the dwellings, and was received by the 
inmates in the kindest manner. They treated me with the 
milk of the fresh cocoa-nut and several varieties of fruits. 
I did not see any cultivated land besides the little patches 
attached to each house ; these were planted with sweet pota- 
toes, yams, and tarro. 

On returning I called in at our observatory, erected on Point 
Venus.* There were great numbers of men and women 
assembled around it the latter dressed in their best, and evi- 
dently come to see arid to be seen. Though many of them 
were young, 1 observed none whose looks were deserving of 
the high encomiums passed on them by the generality of for- 
mer voyagers. There is a kind of languor about their eyes 
that may be pleasing to some, and their feet and hands are also 
small, but their figures are short, and the features are too 
gross to be called handsome. A large number had their heads 
decorated with wreaths composed of Cape jasmine angl orange 

September 15th. It being Sunday to-day, the crew were 
sent to the native chapel to attend divine service. Our chap- 
lain performed the service, with the aid of Mr. Pratt, one of 
the resident missionaries. This chapel is oval in shape and 
spacious, and plastered, and white-washed on the outside ; the 
roof is made of plaited reecn^ and covered with the leaves of 
the pandanus. The windows are furnished with blinds, but 

* It was here that Captain Cook erected his Observatory. It is a low, narrow 
tongue of land running out northward from the island, and is thickly covered with 
cocoa-nut trees. 


remain unglazed, as free circulation of air is here desirable at 
all times. The interior is well supplied with benches, ar- 
ranged in rows, so as to face the pulpit at the side. There is 
no steeple to it. 

Near by the chapel is the residence of the Rev. Mr. Wil- 
son, the only survivor of the missionaries who first came to the 
island. Notwithstanding his great age, he continues to enjoy 
good health, and to watch over the spiritual welfare of his 
flock, which I understand is large. 

It is worthy of remark, that although the day has been 
Sunday with us, it has been Monday with the people a-shore, 
a circumstance to be attributed to the first missionaries (who 
arrived here by the way of the Cape of Good Hope) not having 
made a proper allowance for the gain of time. 

September 20th. This morning the "Vincennes" got 
under-way, and ran up to Papeite. The females here have 
certainly a very great passion for singing. Every evening 
they assemble in great numbers down by the water-side, and 
sing away for hours. Last night it was 2 A. M., ere they 
ceased. This would be a great annoyance to us were their 
voices unmusical, but they are not. More soft, rich and clear 
voices we have never heard in any part of the world. Besides, 
they do not confine themselves to their national songs, but 
occasionally, as if they wished that we should share with them 
in their innocent amusement, strike up some one of our own 
which they have learned from the whalers, and which seemed 
to be as familiar to them as to any of us. 

Papiete, September 24th. %Ve arrived here a little after 
meridian. When about two miles from the anchorage of Ma- 
tavai, we passed two white-plastered buildings, shaded with a 
variety of trees, one of them, we were informed by the pilot, 
was the house of the queen; the other, the building in 


which the remains of the Kings Pomare II. and III. were 

The next object that attracted our attention was the ruins 
of the great chapel erected by Pomare II., after his conversion 
to Christianity. The original size of this building is said to 
have been immense. 

The anchorage of Papiete is much superior to that of Ma- 
tavai. There, when the wind blows fresh from the seaward, 
vessels are exposed to a very heavy and dangerous swell; 
here they lay perfectly protected from both sea and wind. 
Indeed, there is but one objection to Papiete harbor its 
entrance is so very narrow, that unless there be a fair breeze 
it is not accessible. 

The town stretches around the curvature of the shore form- 
ing the harbor, and presents many evidences of civilization. 
Many of the houses are built in the European style, and the 
native church is really a fine building. Several of these 
houses are owned by natives, but they rarely occupy them 
themselves, as they prefer those constructed in the primitive 
style, which, indeed, are better adapted to the climate of the 
island. They keep them to rent out to foreigners. 

The adjacent country does not differ materially from that 
about Matavai. 

In the centre of the harbor there is a charming little island, 
upon which the Tahitian national standard was waving to the 
breeze as we entered. This flag displays a white star on a red 
field, and owes its origin to the missionaries. The people here 
promise to be less troublesome than those were about Matavai. 
We have seen but few of them alongside, and none on board. 

Soon after we came to anchor, we received a present from 
the queen, consisting of pigs, cocoa-nuts, bananas, and other 
products of the islands. 


I understand that yesterday Captain Wilkes had an inter- 
view with the principal chiefs, and succeeded in forming a 
commercial treaty with them, which promised to be highly 
advantageous to both nations. 

October 3d. During these past four or five days nothing 
remarkable has transpired. This evening some dozen natives 
came on board, and gave us one of their old dances. After 
they had seated themselves round in a ring, they commenced 
making a kind of grunt, or noise, made by the throat and 
nostrils, accompanied with motions of the arms and fingers, by 
throwing them about in all directions. This they continued 
for some minutes, when the noise gradually became louder and 
louder, and the gestures more violent, until at last they wrought 
themselves to the highest pitch of excitement, and looked as if 
it was the greatest effort to keep it up ; every blood-vessel was 
much swollen, and the perspiration ran in streams down their 
faces. At this time two of the party sprung up into the 
middle of the ring and began dancing, and making all sorts of 
grimaces and most violent licentious motions of the body; 
the noise still increasing, all the others rose up in the same 
manner. It now appeared to have attained its highest pitch ; 
it became by degrees less and less, until it almost died away, 
when they kicked up their heels and fell on deck, which was 
the signal that they had finished. 

October 6th. This afternoon Pomare Taire, or the king- 
consort, arrived from Eimeo, where he has been residing for 
some time past. He came in a small fore-and-aft schooner. 

When Pomare III., only surviving son of Pomare II., died, 
he was succeeded, in the supreme authority of the islands of 
Tahiti, Eimeo, &c., &c., by the present queen, under the style 
of Pomare Vahina IV. of Tahiti.* She is about 28 years of 

* The Crown is hereditarj- descending either to males or females. 


age, and has been twice married the first time to a young 
chief of Taha, from whom she was divorced. She was mar- 
ried to her present husband about two years since, and thus 
far the union has proved a happy one. She has several chil- 
dren, one of whom is a son. I have been informed that she 
possesses many excellent qualities, and is much beloved by her 

October 7th. This morning the king-consort and Mr. 
Pritchard, H. B. M. consul, came on board, and breakfasted 
with Captain Hudson. The king is probably 23 years of age, 
well formed, and rather good-looking. His dress showed no 
evidence of his rank ; it consisted of a calico shirt, brown drill- 
ing pantaloons, a black bombazine jacket, and straw hat. He 
wore no stockings, and his shoes were old and patched, which 
induced our good purser to make him a present of a new pair. 
When breakfast was over, he went round to look at the ship, 
with which he appeared much pleased. 

Mr. Pritchard was formerly connected with the ' mission. 
His house is decidedly the best I have seen on the island ; he 
owns large tracts of land, and he is said to exercise much 
influence over the queen and the government.* 

At 10 o'clock the king left the ship, accompanied by 
Captain Hudson. 

* The Government is a Constitutional Monarchy. Tahiti now belongs to the French. 




AT 9 P. M., October 10th, we bade adieu to Tahiti, and 
steered to the westward. 

On the 18th we descried land, bearing northwest, which 
proved to be Tutuilla, one of the Samoan, or Navigator 
Islands. At meridian kept away for it, and shortly after- 
ward anchored in the harbor of Pango-Pango. We had no 
difficulty in entering this port. The principal danger is a 
large rock, which is situated near the middle of the passage ; 
but is easily seen, as the surf breaks upon it at all times. 

It is a beautiful harbor ; the land all around rises abruptly, 
some places perpendicularly from the water to the height 
of a thousand feet or more, and everywhere it is covered 
with the most luxuriant vegetation ; even the rocks are covered 
with festoons of creeping-plants. It likewise abounds in fresh 
water ; several fine streams are visible from our decks. 

The shores are thickly studded with houses, and they differ 
materially in shape and construction from any we have before 
seen. They are circular in form, with a high conical roof 
coming down to about five feet from the ground the space 
between the eves and the ground being shut in by mats, which, 
when the weather is pleasant, are rolled back, and thus the 
fresh breeze circulates through every part of the dwelling. 

There are many runaway sailors, and some Botany Bay 
convicts, living on this island. 


October 19th. This day we visited the village, situated at 
the head of the bay. It contains about forty houses, all con- 
structed after the manner before described, save that of Mr. 
Murray, the resident missionary. This is built after the 
English cottage-style, painted white, and surrounded by a 
wooden paling. The interior aspect of the native buildings 
varies according to the circumstances of the owner. If he be 
rich, the floor is covered with the finest quality of mats, and 
presents an air of great neatness throughout. If poor, the 
floor remains uncovered, and but little attention is paid to 
cleanliness or order. 

We saw in the Council-House a war-canoe, which was 
capable of carrying fifty w r arriors. It is said that every vil- 
lage on the island has one of these council-houses. They are 
the places where the chiefs and other principal men meet to 
discuss all matters concerning the state. The one here stands - 
near the landing, has a circular shape, and is capable of con- 
taining several thousand people. 

Curiosity brought crowds of men, women, and children 
around us. They are not in general as well-formed people as 
the Tahitians, and we observed that very many of them were 
afflicted with ophthalmia and elephantiasis. Their dress con- 
sisted of long, narrow leaves, thickly strung on a piece of 
bark, long enough to tie round the loins. All of them were 
tattooed, more or less, about the legs and arms, but ornaments 
they had none. Both men and women are fond of bathing, 
and they spend much of their time in the water. They 
seemed to have no idea of money, but set great value on every- 
thing in the way of clothing and iron tools. They eagerly 
exchanged their largest and finest-WTOught mats for a hatchet, 
or a plain iron ; ink and paper were also sought after by 


On the afternoon of the 20th we sailed foT the neighbor- 
ing island, Upolu. A few days after the " Peacock's" arrival 
here, an American, named Terry, gave information against a 
native, who had murdered an American seaman that was living 
on the island some twenty months before. Mr. Baldwin and 
the master- at-arms, with several marines, were immediately 
sent to secure him. After looking for him for some time, he 
was pointed out to Mr. B., who arrested him and brought 
him on board the ship, where he was confined and ironed. 
Some days afterward Captain Hudson demanded an investi- 
gation of the matter. On the 26th the chiefs assembled from 
the different parts of the island in the Council-House. The 
missionaries, Messrs. Williams and Mills, and Mr. Cunning- 
ham, H. B. M. Vice-Consul for the Samoan Islands, were 
present, and offered to act as interpreters during the investiga- 
tion between Captain Hudson and the chiefs. The prisoner 
was sent for on board the ship, and brought before the assem- 
bly in charge of an officer, and a file of marines. He owned 
that he committed the murder, and assigned his reason for 
doing it. He wanted, he s'aid, to get possession of the white 
man's property. This admission established the guilt of the 
prisoner, and Captain Hudson decided that he must die ; but 
the chiefs expressed great repugnance to this punishment, and 
proposed buying him off with mats, tappa, &c., according to 
the Samoan custom. Captain H. told them the Christian 
custom was to take life for life ; therefore* they must punish 
him with death. After much deliberation the chiefs approved 
of the sentence, but objected to its being carried into execu- 
tion on shore. They again asserted that they knew no such 
laws, and strenuously urged that the criminal should be car- 
ried on board the ship and executed there. To this it was 
replied that the execution must take place on shore, in order 


that the people- might see what they had to expect when they 
killed an American citizen. 

It was believed by the officers of this ship that the chiefs 
would have finally complied with all of Captain Hudson's de- 
mands, had the " Vincennes" kept out of the way, but she 
now made her appearance, and upon its being reported to 
Captain Wilkes what was going on, he repaired to the Council- 
House, and after holding a private interview with Captain 
Hudson, ordered the prisoner to be returned to the " Peacock," 
at the same time requesting Mr. Mills to state to the assembly 
that the criminal would be taken away from Upolu, and left 
on some uninhabited island. 

Upolu is one of those islands which, together with Savi, 
Tutuilla and Manono, constitute that group of islands which 
go under the cognomen of " Navigator's Group." The soil 
is, generally speaking, very fertile, being in most parts com- 
posed of a dark, rich mould, from which spring spontaneously 
a strong luxuriant vegetation of perpetual verdure. This 
manifests itself in various species of grass, shrubbery, fruit 
trees, and forest timber. 

From the location of the island, almost in the centre of the 
tropics, it might be inferred that an atmosphere of very high 
temperature must be the necessary consequence. Such, how- 
ever, is not the fact. Experience has shown that it is more 
temperate than many regions beyond the torrid zones. The 
hour of greatest heat is about 3 o'clock P. M., when the 
thermometer averages 78 of Fahrenheit. Earthquakes are 
frequent, though not violent. 

By far the largest portion of the inhabitants live on the 
sea-coast, because they have there great facilities for fishing. 
They construct their houses after the manner of those we saw 
at Tutuilla. The men only are tattooed, and the part of the 


body thus ornamented is from the waist to the knee. It is 
very tastefully done, and one would imagine it to have been 
adopted in imitation of breeches. It does, in fact, somewhat 
abate the appearance of nakedness, and thus give an air of 
decency. It is the ceremony of initiation into manhood. Fish 
is an almost daily article of food with those who live on the 
coast. They have various ways of catching these ; they use 
the hook, net, and spear, and for lobsters, &c., a kind of a 
trap-basket. They construct also a sort of pond, or inclosure 
of mats and cocoa-nut branches, leaving one end open. A 
party then spread about, and drive the fish in, and thus often 
inclose a large number at once. 

Their manufactures consist of mats, cloth, and baskets. 
This is the work of women ; they make various sorts of 
mats some of the strong leaf of the pandanus, in nearly its 
full breadth, for spreading on the floor some of the same leaf 
split into small shreds for sleeping upon. A much finer mat, 
the weaving of which will occupy a woman twelve or eighteen 
months, is woven with the same leaf into very narrow pieces, 
which are made tough and durable by being baked in an oven, 
and then soaked in sea-water. The mat is so fine as to be 
almost as pliable as linen. These are the dresses on special 
occasions the common one being like that we saw worn by the 
people of Tutuilla. They look very rich and elegant, espe- 
cially when trimmed with red or yellow feathers. 

The Tapa is made as elsewhere from the Chinese paper- 
mulberry. This is also in extensive use for clothing and bed- 
covering. They print some of it in neat patterns, and dye 
some pieces all black, or brown. It wears better than the 
cloth made at Tahiti. 

Nets are made from the bark of the hibiscus, a tree which 
is very common. Their construction is very much the same 


as the ordinary fishing-net in use among us, with stones in- 
stead of bits of lead, and pieces of light wood instead of cork. 
The making of these is a distinct trade. They also make 
from the above materials some very neat and useful baskets. 

Their food is prepared in the way practised in Tahiti, and 
they have many dishes which are rich and agreeable to the 

The women are treated with as much consideration as in 
any part of the world, and are not suffered to do any out-door 
work. They are cleanly in their habits, and bathe daily, after 
which they anoint themselves with oil and turmeric. The 
girls are pretty, and quite modest. Their complexion is a 
lighter brown than that of the Tahitian women. It is the 
practice of mothers here to suckle their children until they 
are five or six years of age, and I myself saw a woman who 
gave nourishment to two children of different ages at once. 

The mariage-vow is observed with strict fidelity. The 
usual mode of courtship is for the man to take a basket of 
fruit and offer it to the object of his choice. If the young 
woman partakes of it, his addresses are favorably received, 
and he applies to his chief for permission to marry. When 
this is granted, he calls on the parents of the girl, and pays 
them a stipulated price for her, which varies with the re- 
spectability and circumstances of her family. The ceremony 
is concluded with a grand feast, to -which the relatives and 
acquaintances of the parties are invited. 

Children are brought up without severity. As soon as the 
boy can make use of his hands and feet, his father furnishes 
him with a little bow and arrow, and exercises him in shooting 
at a target, or throwing stones at a mark by the sea-side. 

Their burials are conducted as follows : The body is 
enveloped in several thicknesses of tapa, and placed in a grave 


about three feet deep, with flowers and shrubbery planted 
around. No arms, or food is deposited with the bodies ; for, 
according to their belief, they have all these things provided 
for them in the world of spirits. After the body has lain in 
the grave a year or two, they take up the skull and place it in 
a box in their houses. The object of this practice, I am told, 
is to prevent their enemies obtaining possession of them in 
times of war, when it is ja common custom to violate the 
sanctity of the grave. The relatives of the deceased show 
their grief by burning themselves and scratching their faces. 

Their amusements consist of dances, wrestling-matches, 
sham club-fights, and a variety of games. All the dances 
I saw were very indecorous, so much so as to make it improper 
to attempt a description of them here. Young women had a 
share in them, and it seemed to me that their attitudes were 
of a character still more disgusting than those of the men. 
The music accompanying the dances consisted of drums,* 
flutes, f and singing. It is said that the sham-fights sometimes 
last a whole day, and usually end' in bloody noses and broken 
heads and limbs. Their arms consist of spears, clubs, bows 
and arrows. The spear is pointed with bone, and is con- 
sidered a very formidable weapon. 

The government resembles the early state of the European 
nations under the feudal s} r stem. Their orders of dignity 
answers to barons, vassals, and villeins. Great respect is paid 
to the chiefs, and particularly to the highest class. The 
" Tuper," or barons, are lords of the several districts into 
which the island is divided. The vassals superintend the cul- 
tivation of the ground, and the villeins, or the common people, 
perform all the laborious work. The whole power lies in the 

* The Samoan drum is made of a piece of wood hallowed out. 
t This flute is made of bamboo. 


chiefs of the first class. Their meetings are called " Fonos," 
which signifies in English, a General Assembty. The eldest 
chief present presides, and they are conducted with much 
ceremony. The person who wishes to speak must first obtain 
the permission to do so from the presiding chief. The common 
people are required to stand at a respectful distance from the 
chiefs, nor can an inferior chief stand or lie down before a 
superior one. It is the custom, before the. Fono proceeds to 
business, to compliment the presiding chief, and to invoke 
blessings on him that his life may be prolonged and pros- 

The most usual forms of punishment for crimes, are cutting 
off the nose and ears of the offender, flogging, exposure of the 
naked body to the sun, confiscation of property and banish- 
ment. Adultery is punishable with death. The punishment 
for murder is not specified by law, but is left for the relatives 
of the person slain to demand the atonement. Most gene- 
rally, however, pardon is purchased for the murderer by his 
friends, who, like himself, are liable to be revenged on by the 
aggrieved party, so long as the affair remains unsettled. 

There are several missionary stations* on Upolu, and many 
of the inhabitants have embraced Christianity. Those who 
still adhere to their ancient religionf are called Devils. They 
may be distinguished from the Christians by their hair,J 
which they allow to grow luxuriantly all over the head ; they 

* The first missionaries to these islands belonged to the "VVesleyan denomination, 
but they were soon after succeeded by those of the English Board, the \Vesleyans 
abandoning the field for that of the Fejee Group. They are much respected by 
the natives, and their labors have been attended with beneficial results. 

t It very much resembles the religion of most heathen nations. Its divinities are 
the oft'prings of fear. The Priesthood is hereditary. The priests are the men of 
science, and to their care are intrusted all the sick, whom they attempt to cure by 
ridiculous ceremonies and enchantments. 

I The Christians cut their hair short, and have abandoned their old dances. 


are also more indolent and less intelligent than those of their 
brethren who have been converted. 

During our stay at Upolu the trading-master was stationed 
on shore daily, for the purpose of purchasing provisions for 
the squadron. Here all sorts of articles were displayed ; but 
those which took best with the natives were hatchets, knives, 
blue nankeen, and/chisels. Though the weather was gene- 
rally unfavorable, .we obtained very good rates for our chro- 
nometers. The scientific gentlemen were constantly employed 
in making excursions into the interior of the island, to collect 
specimens and information in their respective departments. 
Officers were also stationed on shore day and night for the 
purpose of making observations on the tides. In short, every 
exertion was made to promote the interests of the Expedi- 

On the afternoon of November 10th we proceeded to sea, 
in company with the rest of the squadron. 

On the llth, I received orders to join the "Vincennes." 
During the early part of this day we experienced a very heavy 
shower of rain, accompanied with much thunder. 

At 11.30 P. M., we arrived off Wallis Island. While we 
were making a survey of this island, a canoe, paddled by two 
men, came alongside, a circumstance which Captain Wilkes 
availed himself of to land the native prisoner who killed our 

The island is well inhabited, but the two natives who came 
off to the ship assured us that there was no communication 
between it and the Samoan group. Tuvi for that was the 
prisoner's name was kindly treated during his confinement on 
board the " Peacock," and seemed much distressed in parting 
with her officers and crew. He was about thirty years of age, 
and had a wife and several children. His stature was that 



of an ordinary-sized man, and there was nothing of the sinister 
expression in his countenance. 

Wallis Island is situated in latitude 13 24' 00" south, and 
longitude 176 09' 00" east. From the name one would 
naturally suppose it was a single island. Such, however, is 
not the case. It is a group of small islands encircled by one 
extensive reef, against which the swell of the ocean may be 
seen breaking at all times. The native name of the principal 
island is Wea, and it is tolerably high, but the others are 
low, resembling the Coral Island of the Paumato Group. . All 
are thickly covered with trees, and well inhabited. The two 
natives who came on board informed us that there was a good 
anchorage inside of the reef, and plenty of provisions to be had 
from the inhabitants. It is said that the Catholic missionaries 
who were expelled from Tahiti, were landed here, and that 
they have made many converts among the natives. 

When the survey was finished we again made all sail, and 
stood to the southward. 

On the following morning we passed Horn Island, dis- 
covered about the } r ear 1616, by Le Maire. It is high and 
well wooded. As for the inhabitants, I am unable to speak 
of them. 

At early daylight on the 18th, Matthew's Rock was re- 
ported in sight. We bore away for it, and when within half 
a mile of its northernmost point, measured base by sound with 
the " Peacock," and angled on it in order to fix its position. 
A boat, with Drs. P. and F., was also sent to make an 
examination of the rock. It is about half a mile in circum- 
ference, and very steep and rugged ; our boat, therefore, found 
great difficulty in effecting a landing. Here and there in spots 
may be seen some soil bearing bushes. In general a naked- 
ness of rock characterize the prospect. Immense numbers of 


birds were perched upon it. The boat having returned we 
resumed our course. 

On the 24th of November we experienced a severe thunder 
storm. The ship was struck by lightning several times, and 
the forward conductor was broken into many pieces, but 
neither the rigging nor hull were damaged. The wind blew vio- 
lently from the southwest, and during the continuance of the 
storm the thermometer was observed to fall from 85 to 69. 
After sunset, as the wind increased in strength, u all hands 
were called," the topsails were close-reefed, and a signal 
made for the rest of the squadron to adopt the same pre- 
caution. Our position at meridian was, according to dead 
reckoning, in latitude 32 56' 00" south, and longitude 160 
20' 48" east. 

Two days after this storm we passed Lord Howe's Island 
and Ball's Pyramid, and several other small islands, called 
Admiralty Rocks. The two first mentioned are high, bleak, 
rugged rocks. 

On the 27th we saw several fin-back whales, also a great 
number of birds, among which were four or five very large 

At 10 A. M. on the 27th, we made the coast of New Hol- 
land, or New South Wales, on the weather-beam. At 7.40 
P. M. descried Sydney light-house, and at 9 called all hands 
to work ship into port. We then stood for the harbor, and by 
10.37 anchored in seven fathoms water off the town of Sydney, 
abreast of Fort M'Quarie, without any of her citizens, or 
the garrison's being aware of our character. The " Pea- 
cock" followed in our track, and anchored within a cable's 
length of us. The remaining vessels came in the following 

The fact of our coming in here in the night, and that too 


without the aid of a pilot, appeared to have excited no little 
sensation among the people on shore. Several of the news- 
papers spoke of it next morning as something very remarkable, 
and jocularly declared it to be a " Yankee trick," done for 
the purpose of saving the pilotage, and in perfect keeping with 
our usual keenness in money matters. It would have been 
rather a serious joke though, had the object of our visit been 
hostile, for we might have possessed ourselves of the fort, and 
then bombarded the town with the greatest ease. 

Of this, however, they were as sensible as ourselves, and 
the necessity of fortifying the harbor more effectually, and of 
being more vigilant, became fully impressed upon their minds. 
There are many excellent sites for fortresses, so that the 
harbor might be rendered perfectly inaccessible to an enemy's 




WHILE the Portuguese and the Spaniards, early in the 
sixteenth century, were extending their enterprise through the 
seas of the further east, rumors reached Europe of a new con- 
tinent on the south. The navigator, driven by contrary winds 
and currents beyond the bounds of his ordinary enterprise, 
discovered different points of land, which, for a long period, 
none endeavored to examine. The Spaniards had been navi- 
gating the Indian Archipelago for more than eighty, and the 
Portuguese for nearly a hundred years, before the name of 
any mariner became connected with the discovery of Australia. 
The unknown southern land, (Terra Australis incognito,) and 
the southern land of the Holy Spirit, (Australia del Spiritu 
Santo,) were indefinitely mentioned in their records, yet no ex- 
plorer ventured to approach the mysterious coast, dimly seen 
by the* chance-voyager in those remote seas. 

In 1605, however, the Dutch, eager to obtain a maratime 
superiority in those distant regions, equipped the yatch " Duy- 
fen," which sailed from the port of Bantam, in Java, to 
explore the coast of New Guinea. Returning from this expe- 
dition, the little vessel entered the waters of the shores of 
Australia, and sailed into the great Gulf of Carpentaria. To 
these early voyagers all seemed desolate and barren, for, since 
the discovery of America, the voyage of Vasco di Gama, and 
the exploration of the Indian Archipelago, the navigator con- 
tinually thirsted for some new Chersonese, where gold was to 


be found in every stream, where amber was washed up on the 
beach, where spices perfumed the forests, and pearls were 
plentiful in the shallow waters near the shore. The wild 
aspect of the Australian coasts consequently offered little 
temptation to them. Nevertheless, Spanish, Dutch, and 
English mariners continued to visit those seas, Dampier, 
between 1684 and 1700, exploring a portion of the north- 
western coast, and surveying it in the rude manner of his time. 
Half a century of further research added little to the world's 
knowledge of this great region ; but 1770 brought the advent 
of Captain Cook, whose immortal memory is associated with 
so many seas and shores. He discovered the eastern coast of 
Australia from Cape Howe to Cape York, naming the region 
New South Wales. Many successive voyagers followed, each 
of whom contributed some tracing to the sea-board of this vast 
territory, until Captain Stokes, about eight years ago, made the 
entire circuit of the island, and first enabled the geographer ac- 
curately to lay down the leading features of its mighty outline.* 
The daring navigators of Europe explored the shores of 
Australia, marking its outlaying islands, endeavoring to dis- 
cover the mouths of rivers, fixing the position of harbors, and 
laying down the general outline of the island; while inland 
discovery commenced much later, and made a slower progress. 
In the south, ridges of hills were known to exist, and believed 
to be impassable. Not lofty, but precipitous and rugged, they 
were intersected by deep chasms and broad, barren valleys, 
sprinkled with half-blasted trees, . and piled with masses of 
sandstone rock landscapes sublime in their melancholy deso- 
lation. The blue mountains, so named from their habitual 

* To those familiar with the history of maratime discovery, the mention of such 
names as New Holland, New South Wales, Tasmania, Van Dieman's Land, De Witts, 
&c., will at once recall the numerous voyages and voyagers connected with th 
gradual exploration of Australia. 


aspect, were long considered impassable ; but when English 
colonists in New South Wales were straitened for room, they 
looked for wider pastures for their flocks, and more extensive 
lands for. the cultivation of corn and vegetables. Necessity 
then opened a passage through the hills the Bathurst plains 
were discovered, and a stage-coach rattled along a well-made 
road winding among the mountain-passes. In other directions 
adveuturous men, starting from different points, attempted to 
explore the interior of Australia ; but as yet all have been 
unsuccessful in their endeavors to reach the centre, and he 
who traveled farthest, at the utmost point of his journey, has 
only cast his eyes over a monotonous desert, apparently of 
interminable extent. 

Australia is situated in the immense ocean stretching to 
the southeast of Asia, and lies in nearly the same latitude 
as the Cape of Good Hope and Brazil. Equal in surface 
to four-fifths of the European continent, it extends from 
113 05' 00" to 153 16' 00" east longitude, and from 
10 39' 00' to 39 11' 00" south latitude. The area is cal- 
culated at 3,000,000 square miles, and the coast line at 7,750. 
The whole of this immense mass of land is solid and compact, 
broken by few indentations of the ocean. 

The mariner, for the first time approaching Australia on 
its western coast, perceives few of those natural charms 
painted by so many writers. Along these shores, even now 
very rarely visited, there is little to allure the eye. A mono- 
tonous plain, bounded in the distance by a chain of bleak 
hills, stretches from the sea, and over the surface of this vast 
level are scattered sweeps of ground blackened by the passage 
of flames. The few wandering tribes leading a nomade life 
in this part of the island, frequently, by accident, or inten- 
tionally, kindle the tall, dry grasses or the low bush. The fire, 


seizing greedily on the parched vegetation, travels with great 
rapidity, and driven by the wind spreads to the base of the 
hills, where the conflagration spends its fury. As we proceed 
further northward, the shores become strewn with enormous 
masses of rock, extending to some distance from the beach. 
It is supposed that formerly the land here was considerably 
more elevated than at present, and that the action of water 
has levelled it, leaving the more durable masses unremoved. 
Some eminences, covered with a vegetation richer than that of 
Brazil or Borneo, with occasional fertile plains, present them- 
selves in marked contrast with the general aridity of the coast. 

On the northern shores the same level prevails. Flinders 
sailed 175 leagues without seeing any hill higher than the 
mast of a sloop. 

Along the Gulf of Carpentaria few elevations occur ; but 
reaching the eastern coast, the view is no longer monotonous 
or dreary. New scenes continually unfold themselves forests 
and open plains, and valleys running up between the hills, 
and a more numerous population enlivening the country. 
Passing between the shore and that great barrier-reef which 
outlies the eastern coast of New Holland for more than six 
hundred miles, we enter the principal field of British enter- 
prise, where the coast is marked by a thousand fantastic 
irregularities. A line of precipitous cliffs extends far towards 
the south, a huge breach in this natural wall becomes appa- 
rent ; and while the eye is resting on the grim magnificence of 
these granite barriers, the vessel glides between the rocks, 
and reposes in the superb harbor of Port Jackson. The 
shore, sweeping in gentle slopes -toward the hills, is covered 
with a natural growth of verdure. The sea, blue and brilliant, 
flows into beautiful bays, where vessels lie safe after their 
long voyage from Europe. White stone-built villas, with 


graceful gardens and groves, lend artificial charms to a land- 
scape naturally picturesque ; and Sydney, the capital of New 
South Wales, with its forts and light-houses, its churches, 
hospitals, and custom-house, full of traffic, and smoking in the 
heat of industry, appears like the creation of enchantment. 
The industry of Europe, planted in Australia, now ploughs 
the sea between Port Jackson and Moreton Bay with steamers, 
which prepare the mind for the scene presented within ; but 
with this exception, the change from the outer view to the 
panorama of Sydney, is as that from a lifeless desert to an 
English seaport. 

Towards the west the surface again becomes level -irregu- 
larities are few tall, sloping cliffs commence, and the country 
sinks into a plain covered with scrub, and extending as far as 
the south-western point of the island. There, rises a range of 
low hills, continuing as far as Gautheaume Bay, where we reach 
again the desolate level from whence our circuit commenced. 

The streams in South Australia and Western Australia 
are, in comparison, insignificant ; but it is a received opinion 
among many geographers that great water-springs exist in the 
island, which will ultimately burst from the earth, flow 
together, form themselves channels, and find outlets at various 
places along the coast. At present, in the river- system of 
Australia, as well as in its mountains,* 1 valleys, and geolo- 
gical formation, its botany and its zoology, we discover a 
strong support of the theory that this region is of recent 
emergence from the ocean. Formerly, Captain Start believes 
it consisted of an archipelago of islands. The bed of the 
ocean, upheaved by the agency of subterranean fires, raised 

* In the countries of the old world, every range, however tortuous, agrees in general 
direction with the length of the continent. In Australia the case is reversed the 
hills: run transversely from north to south. 


the whole to a level, and the action of the great sea sweeping 
over it has produced these strange appearances, which have 
earned for Australia its curious title the Land of Anomalies. 
The researches of travelers in the interior will at no distant 
day, lay it open to examination ; and when the great doubt is 
removed, science will explain with accuracy phenomena at the 
present day so perplexing. 

Eighty years ago the adventurous voyager, Captain Cook, 
sailed along the eastern coast of Australia, and there, in 
latitude 33 south, discovered a commodious inlet. Near the 
water's edge he saw many curious flowers blooming wild, and 
from them named the place Botany Bay. The account of his 
visit was circulated in England, and, sixteen years later, it 
was resolved to establish a colony in some part of the unknown 
southern land. Botany Bay was thought of. In 1787, the 
" Sirius " and the " Supply," with six transports and three 
store-ships, sailed with the germs of a new colony on board. 
Besides the crews and 166 marines, there were 757 convicts 
565 men and 192 women. Stores and provisions for two 
years were taken, besides agricultural implements and tools, 
with all the necessaries for the foundation of a permanent set- 
tlement. Captain Philip, the appointed governor, took com- 
mand of the squadron, and sailed first to the Cape of Good 
Hope, then belonging to the Dutch, where live stock and 
seeds were procured. At Rio Janeiro more stores were taken 
in, and the expedition steered direct for the new land. Con- 
tinuing their course, they reached Australia after a voyage of 
eight months and one week. Botany Bay appeared to pro- 
mise little ; water seemed scarce, and an aspect of aridity on 
the surrounding land decided them to go elsewhere in search 
of a place of rest. The fleet, therefore, weighed anchor; 
and, as they left the bay, two French ships, under La 


Perouse, entered it. That adventurous discoverer stayed two 
months in this haven, and then set sail for the Pacific, disap- 
pearing forever from the sight of civilized man. 

Drawing near an opening in the cliffs, a few miles further 
north, the governor went to examine it in person. The 
natives collected on the rocks, shouting to the strangers to 
go away ; but they persevered. Captain Cook had reported 
the existence in this neighborhood of a creek, where boats 
could be sheltered. A sailor, named Jackson, however, 
declared that a great haven lay within the mighty rocks 
that frowned above them ; and entering between these, the 
explorers were delighted to find a harbor of many miles in 
extent. A fine anchoring-ground was at once chosen, and 
the name of the sailor bestowed on the harbor. 

The spot chosen for debarkation was near a stream of 
fresh water, over-shadowed by trees. Every man literally 
stepped from the boats into a forest. They detached them- 
selves into parties, and the primeval silence of the shore 
was immediately broken by sounds which have never since 
died away. Some shouldered the axe and commenced clear- 
ing ground for the different encampments ; some pitched the 
tents ; some brought from the ships the necessary stores, 
and others examined the capabilities of the neighboring soil. 
Every one wandered freely over the country, and wholesale 
disposals were made of land which, fifty j^ears later, was 
worth more than a thousand guineas an acre. 

The people were then collected together, and the governor's 
commission was read, with letters patent for establishing 
courts of justice. The ground was gradually cleared, a 
rude farm was prepared to receive the live stock, and gardens 
were laid out for the planting of seeds and roots. Thus was 
planted the colony of New South Wales. 




THE colony of New South Wales is exceeding precocious, 
approaching fast to commercial and political greatness. It 
promises fair to occupy a commanding position with respect to 
the quarter of the globe in which it is situated. There is very 
little doubt that when sufficiently powerful, the colonists will 
shake off the yoke of the mother country, and erect themselves 
into a separate sovereignty, such a spirit being abundantly 
evident, even at present. They have not as yet the strength 
necessary for an undertaking of so great a magnitude ; but 
none of the inclination is wanting, particularly since the home 
government has threatened to subject them to what they con- 
sider unjust taxation. Already the storm-cloud has began to 
show itself above the horizon, and we will venture to predict, 
the time is not far distant when it will overspread the heavens, 
and shower upon them all the horrors of family strife. A 
population composed, as this chiefly is, of the most turbulent 
and refractory, and of the self-exiled, who have been driven 
from their native land by misery and persecution, are not 
likely to remain long in patient subjection to a country which 
has been the source of their former misfortunes and disgraces, 
and with the recollections of which so much is mingled to 
awaken the bad feelings of the heart. They are constantly 
looking forward for the severance of the tie which binds their 
new home to the parent land. The vicious, because such 


characters hate and fear the power that has chastised them ; 
and the unfortunate, because they anticipate from a longer 
connection a recurrence of their past adversity by an introduc- 
tion of the same causes which had led to them in a country 
where the unassisted poor man, if he would not die of starva- 
tion, must plunge himself in crime. They know well that 
when the majority is nearly on a footing with regard to wealth, 
chances are great, that each will secure to himself a compe- 
tency. In a community so circumstanced, the struggle is not 
with the overwhelming advantages of the rich, but with more 
surmountable obstacles. The road to affluence is denied to 
none, and success is dependent on a man's own exertions. 
He will soonest reach the goal who is most industrious and 

The town of Sydney* is in the most flourishing condition, 
trade is extending and becoming more and more profitable, 
and emigration flowing into the colony with an enlarging cur- 
rent, and composed of individuals of that most useful class to 
a young colony artizans, agriculturists, and such like. 

The principal article of export is wool, \7heat ranks next 
in importance ; but the crops are uncertain, owing to the long 
and severe droughts to which the country is liable some years. 
These, by the way, are most serious evils to the country, and 
one of the greatest checks to its advancement, and, unfor- 
tunately, irrigation cannot be resorted to as a substitute in 
consequence of the scarcity of fresh- water streams. The dry 
periods are sometimes so constant and protracted that every- 

* Sydney is the capital of New South "Wales, and contains about 25,000 inhabi- 
tants. The streets are well laid out, and are rapidly filling up with good houses 
constructed of brick. In the eastern part of the town is a large square, upon which 
are situated the Catholic Cathedral, the Church of St. James', and the offices of the 
Colonial Government; on the western quarter are extensive public grounds, and 
many handsome buildings. 


thing becomes parched; all nature withers under their fiery 
influence ; vegetables, plants, herbs, are destroyed, and the 
fields literally take fire. The ground becomes intensely 
heated, and the fine dust is whirled into the air in such vast 
clouds that the wayfarer is threatened with the same fate 
that sometimes befalls the unlucky traveler in the deserts of 
Africa. These are times w T hich distress not only the grain- 
merchant, but the market generally. Agriculture becomes 
almost neglected, flocks and herds suffer for the want of sus- 
tenance, and are no longer driven, and inland traveling is 
rendered difficult ; hence the supply 'of wool, provisions, and 
indeed of every marketable commodity, is most sadly di- 

In the course of time, when the wool-trade ceases to be as 
attractive as now, no longer holding out such allurements to 
the seekers after wealth, many articles will enter into exporta- 
tion which are as yet but little attended to by agriculturists and 
manufacturers. Wine will probably be one of the number, 
the soil and climate being admirably adapted to the cultivation 
of the grape, of which a great abundance is annually raised. 

With respect to mineral resources, this country is not with- 
out them. Lead and iron have been found in considerable 
quantities. Coal is plentiful, and used most extensively, as 
well for comfort in cold weather as for manufacturing and 
other purposes. It is inflammable, but emits an exceedingly 
disagreeable smell, and before the appearance of flame throws 
out an immense deal of smoke. As the country becomes 
explored other minerals* will be discovered, which may be 
expected to form materials for future prosperity. 

* I see by the last accounts from Sydney that both copper and gold have been 
discovered, and the former is said to be of a very superior quality. At Mount 
Alexander a piece of gold was found, weighing 58 oz. 18 dwts 


At present but little is known of the internal parts of the 
island of New Holland. Exploration has been carried but to 
a small extent, owing principally to the difficulties attendant 
upon traveling. Water and food cannot always be procured, 
and the natives are hostile. The trifling knowledge that has 
been obtained of this region, shows it to be one of the most 
peculiar in the world distinct from others, not only in its 
general character, but many individual features, producing 
trees, plants, &c., and several kinds of animated creatures 
which are totally unlike those found elsewhere ; for instance, 
we have cherries growing with their stones outside; trees 
which shed their bark instead of their leaves ; black swans, 
white eagles, quadrupeds with birds' bills, and crabs of an 
ultra-marine color.* 

The human occupantsf of the land even are not without 
their singularities. There is, perhaps, no race of people 

* Of the 70,000 or 80,000 species of plants described by botanists, 5,710 are already 
known to exist in Australia ; of these only 270 are common to it and to other countries, 
while 5,440 are altogether peculiar to its extrordinary soil. Thus, this island contri- 
butes to botany nearly a twelfth of the plants known ; but they are generally of a very 
low order. Ferns, nettles, flowers, and grasses, having the form, bulk and habits of 
trees, are abuudant. No dense woods have been found, and the groves, from a pecu- 
liar arrangement of their foliage, present a strange appearance, many of the trees 
having their leaves hanging with the edge downwards. Flowering plants of exces- 
sive beauty are found ; and the lily, tulip and honeysuckle grow to the size of a 
large standard tree. In the interior immense numbers of prickly plants cover the 
ground, binding down the loose soil, and preventing the drift which distiuguishes the 
des-erts of Arabia and Africa from the Australian wastes. The zoology of this region 
also presents extraordinary features. The number of known species of mamalia is 
about one thousand ; fifty-eight are found in Australia, of which forty-six are pecu- 
liar to it, leaving twelve only which it contains in common with other regions. 
Even of these, five are whales and four seals ; another is the strong-winged bat of 
Madagascar ; another, like the jerboa of America ; and the last, the dog the animal 
found always where man exists, and rarely, if ever, where he does not. Kangaroos, 
however, are almost the only important animal. In the birds and reptiles similar 
peculiarities exist. 

f The people who inhabit this extraordinary region belong to. Hie Ethiopic, which is 
the lowest family of the human race. Many writers with great ingenuity have 


known to whom they can be compared ; all would suffer by 
the comparison. A resemblance may be traced between them 
and certain tribes of negroes in Africa ; the complexion is the 
same if anything, blacker the shape of the head and some 
of the features similar, but the countenance far more hideous ; 
in fact, imagination cannot conceive the extent of their 
ugliness. Perfectly Satanic in appearance, one fancies him- 
self in the midst of a horde of sooty imps just escaped from 
the dominions of his cloven-footed majesty. They are gene- 
rally tall and shapeless, with exceedingly slender limbs that 
have scarce even the ordinary enlargements occasioned by the 
muscles. Their manner of living, habits and customs, are 
those of a people plunged in the lowest depths of barbarism, 
and showing but a slight superiority over the beasts of the 
field. They do not settle in communities for mutual pro- 
tection and benefit, but roam at large over the country, sup- 
porting themselves as they best can upon what chance throws 
in their way sometimes upon fruits and berries, arid even 
loots, and sometimes upon snakes and whatever animals they 
succeed in ensnaring. They do not* even build huts, but 

attempted to trace the original colonization of Australia to a horde of Malays passing 
over in canoes from the Indian Archipelago, across Torres's Straits to the unknown 
southern land. The color of the skin, however, the formation of the skull and the 
limbs, with the genius, the habits, and the general character of the Australians 
identify them with the negro race of New Guinea. The weapons they employ are 
similar, and their progress in the industrial arts, as well as their mental qualities 
and condition of existence, being infinitely lower than those of the Malay, and 
closely similar to those of the Papuan, destroy the theory of their Malan origin. 
Traditions they have few, and those but faint and incoherent. It is probable, 
however, that the wild savages of the Indian Archipelago, driven from their original 
homes by the superior civilization of the Malays, put to sea in rude canoes, and 
reaching the mysterious southern land, debarked, and gradually peopled the wil- 
derness. They left their own rich islands to the conquering Malays, deserting a 
contested heritage for one where security and peace made up for the loss of a soil 
spontaneously productive. That infusion of other blood has taken place is probable, 
but not to such an extent as to have influenced the character of the population. 


shelter themselves from the inclemencies of the weather under 
decayed trees. In truth, they are a strange race ; and the 
greatest wonder is that there should be so great a dissimilarity 
between them and the natives of the surrounding islands 
not only are they altogether unlike in personal appearance, 
but in every other respect. Most of the other islanders 
have light brown complexions, strait hair, and are handsome 
and active live together in villages, under the government of 
something like bands, and in the internal arrangement of 
their huts, manner of living, &c., exhibit quite a correct idea 
of domestic comfort ; but these, on the contrary, lead a life 
literally that of wild animals. 

Both sexes have the disgusting practice of rubbing fish oil 
into their skins ; but they are compelled to do this as a 
protection against mosquitoes, which are very large and bite 
with much severity. Some of them have been seen with the 
entrails of fish frying in the burning sun upon their heads 
until the oil ran down over their foreheads. On particular 
occasions they besmear themselves with red and white clay, 
using the former when preparing to fight the latter, when 
going to have their dances. The women are subjected to mu- 
tilation of the two first joints of the little finger of the left hand. 
This operation is performed when they are very young, and 
is done, it is said, under the idea that these joints of the little 
finger are in the way when they wind their fishing lines over 
the hand. While fishing the women sing. Those who occupy 
the sea-coast live chiefly on fish, which they roast, for they are 
ignorant of the effect of fire upon water. A story is told of 
a shipwrecked sailor, who obtained among them the reputation 
of a sorcerer, by boiling a potfull of water. 

The men do not confine themselves to one wife, but live 
with two or three ; though it has been observed that the first 


wife claims a superiority' of attachment, and an exclusive 
right to the conjugal embraces, while the second, or the one 
last chosen, was compelled to be the drudge and slave of 

Between the ages of ten and twelve, both males and females 
undergo the operation which they call Inaonoong, viz., that of 
having the nose perforated to receive a reed or bone, which by 
them is considered a great ornament. It is a common prac- 
tice, also, to gash their bodies and to knock out one or two of 
their front teeth. An English trader once made a large profit 
by selling in London a quantity of these teeth for the use of 
the dentists. 

Their habits are unsociable ; they talk very little even 
among themselves, and never permit any one to joke or laugh 
with them. Nor is their character more alluring in other 
respects ; to lie, cheat, and steal are practices almost univer- 
sal, and owners of sheep, and isolated settlers often suffer from 
their depredations. This is not because they do not know any 
better, for their ideas of property are very distinct, and they 
never steal from one another. They are proud and insolent, 
and nothing will induce them to acknowledge any human 
being as their superior, or to show any marks of respect. 
They address the settlers without -the Mr. prefixed to their 
names ; and on entering a room, they never salute or remain 
standing, but immediately seat themselves. Jealousy is a 
prominent feature in the character of the men. The husband 
who suspects another of seducing his wife, either kills one or 
both. The affair is taken up by the tribe, if the party belongs 
to another, and the manner in which it is settled is as fol- 
lows : the guilty person is furnished with a shield,* and the 

* The native name for this shield is Nicklemara. It is made of the bark of the 
gum-tree, and has an oval shape. 


whole tribe which he. has insulted, cast their spears at him 
the first throw being made by the member most injured. 

Their mode of making war is peculiar. The aggrieved 
tribe assemble and consult relative to the course to be pur- 
sued. This having been decided on, a messenger is dispatched 
to announce their intention to commence hostilities to the 
opposite party, and fix upon a day for the combat. The 
latter immediately proceed to make all the necessary prepara- 
tions for the approaching contest ; and on the day assigned, 
both parties take the field, accompanied by the women. The 
first onset is made by the oldest woman abusing and taunting 
the opposite side. Then a warrior or two advance, and com- 
mence throwing spears at each other. This exchange of 
missiles continues sometimes for a whole day, and generally 
ends without any fatal consequences, for the warriors are 
picked men, and are celebrated for their skill in avoiding mis- 
siles with their shields. When a warrior of either party is 
killed, the fight ceases, explanations are made, and the parties 
meet amicably to bury the dead ; after which they all join in 
the performance of a dance called Corrobory. 

They make use of two weapons which we have not seen 
elsewhere the Dundernel and the Boomer en g. The former 
has a flat curved handle,* about two feet in length, and in 
its general appearance resembles a hatchet. It is thrown 
from the hand before coming to close quarters. The Boome- 
reng is a flat stick, three feet long and two inches wide, 
crooked in the centre, forming an angle of fifty degrees. It 
is an implement used both for war and in the chase, and can 
be thrown by the natives with great precision. 

As might be expected, a people so ignorant as the Austra- 
lians, must also be very superstitious. When the wind groans 
over the hills, they imagine it to be the voice of an evil spirit, 


and build fires about tlieir habitations to drive the evil one 
away. A grave placed before the door of a house is a safe- 
guard against thieves. When beneath a rock they will not 
whistle, because they say this will cause the rock to fall upon 
them; of thunder and lightning, they are likewise much 
afraid, and believe that by chanting certain words and breath- 
ing hard they can dispel it. 

Of their opinions with respect to a future state we had very 
defective information. They spoke of some place which they 
believed to be the abode of the dead, but we could riot learn 
that they had any idea of rewards and punishments. Their 
ideas of a deity are distinct they believe in a being who is 
all powerful, who created themselves and their country, and 
delights in giving them all the good things of this world which 
they enjoy. 

There are other English settlements in New Holland be- 
sides that of New South Wales, but as our ships did not visit 
them, I am unable to give any detailed description of them. 



" Uptorn, reluctant, from its oozy cave, 
The ponderous anchor rises o'er the wave." 


DECEMBER 26th. At an early hour this morning the 
squadron sailed from Sydney, on an exploring cruise in the 
Antarctic Ocean. 

We have not visited a place since we left the United States 
with which we have been so well pleased, as the capital of 
New South Wales. We received the most marked attention 
while on shore, and had daily invitations from the inhabitants 
to partake of their hospitalities. His Excellency the Gover- 
nor sought an early opportunity to invite Captain Wilkes and 
a number of the other officers, to come and spend several days 
with him at his residence in Paramatta. The officers of the 
50th Regiment gave us a splendid dinner, and the Australian 
Club another. In short, everything was done, both by the 
authorities and citizens, to render our visit a pleasant one. 

December 27th and 28th. During these two days nothing 
of much interest occurred. In the afternoon of the 27th we 
saw several albatrosses, and during the night the sea appeared 
uncommonly phosphorescent. Our observations place us in 
latitude 88 48' 00" south, and 151 00' 00" east. The wind 
is from the eastward, and the weather is pleasant. 

December 29th. The mechanics have been engaged this 
day in securing the ship from the cold, boisterous weather 


which we may very soon expect to encounter. The hatches 
have had casings built around them, furnished with doors, the 
seams of the ports are caulked and covered with tarred can- 
vas and sheet-lead, and a stove has been put up on the gun- 
deck, which is to answer the double purpose of warming the 
ship and drying the wet clothing. The temperature of the 
ship is, I understand, to be regulated by a thermometer, and 
is never to be higher than 50, in order that the crew may be 
compelled to take exercise, which is very necessary in cold 
latitudes. The weather continues pleasant, and the nights are 
beautifully clear and starlight. We are now in latitude 
38 35' 00" south, and longitude 150 55' 00" east. 

January 2d. There has been a great change in the ap- 
pearance and feeling of the weather within the last twenty-four 
hours. The horizon looks threatening, and it is cold enough 
to make one feel the want of an overcoat. Owing to the heavy 
mist which prevailed during the night, we lost sight of the 
schooner " Flying Fish," and we have spent a large portion 
of this day in looking for her, but without success. This has 
compelled us to steer for Macquarie Island, the first ap- 
pointed place for the squadron to meet in the event of a sepa- 

January 3d. The fog continues very thick, and we have 
reason to believe that we have separated from the " Peacock," 
as we have not seen her since this morning. Two guns were 
fired about noon, in hopes that she might hear us. According 
to our observations, we are in latitude of 49 25' 00" south, 
and 159 18' 00" east. The weather grows cold, and the 
wind blows fresh from the northward and eastward. 

January 4th and 5th. During these two days we have had 
much rain, accompanied with thunder and lightning. A vast 
number of Port Egmont hens, petrils, and albatrosses, and one 


or two seals have been seen. The fog has prevented our ob- 
taining any astronomical observations for ascertaining our 
position. The wind is still blowing fresh from the northeast. 

January 7th. We have been trying all this day to reach 
Macquarie Island, supposed to be about thirty miles to wind- 
ward of us. But the wind, weather and current being against 
us, we have been obliged to give it up, and are now steering 
for Emerald Island, our second rendezvous. During the 
greater part of the forenoon the mist was so dense that we 
were unable to see the " Porpoise," although she was not 
more than six hundred yards from us. The temperature now 
is below 40. Our observations make the latitude to be 
54 17' 38" south, and longitude 160 58' 00" east. Since 
sunset the wind has moderated, and the sky appears much 
more promising than it has done for some days past. 

January 9th. This morning we passed the locality given 
on the chart to Emerald Island, but saw nothing of it. We 
therefore concluded that the chart is incorrect. A great 
number of gray petrils have been seen, and we have also 
passed several patches of kelp. The barometer stands at 
30.00 inches, but the thermometer has fallen to 32, and the 
atmosphere is very raw. 

January 10th. We encountered to-day, for the first time, 
several icebergs and some drift-ice ; the former were several 
miles in circumference, but there was nothing very striking in 
their shape. The sea beat against their sides, and produced 
a noise similar to that made by breakers. A dense fog has 
succeeded to the clear weather we had yesterday. Our lati- 
tude is 61 07' 00" south, longitude 162 32' 00" east. 

January llth. There has been a great number of ice- 
bergs in sight this day. We estimate several to be five miles 
long and three hundred feet in height. They all had fiat 


tops, with sides full of cavities, caused by the waves clashing 
against them. 

About 9 P. M.j we passed to the eastward of a point of 
field-ice,* which proved to be the edge of a " barrier ;" stood 
in to the southward until 10.85 P. M., when we found our- 
selves completely emba} T ed, having solid ice as far as could be 
.seen from the mast-heads, except to the northward. We are 
now " hove-to" to wait for daylight. The barometer con- 
tinues to stand at 30.00 inches, though the wind has hauled 
around to the westward, and the temperature is two degrees 
colder than yesterday. According to our observations the lati- 
tude is 64 10' 00" south, and longitude 164 31' 00" east. 

January 13th. At early dawn we made sail, and com- 
menced to work along the " barrier" to the westward. About 
9 P. M., it being very foggy, we lost sight of the " Porpoise," 
and have not seen her since. The temperature is now 30, 
and our decks and rigging arc covered with ice. A great 
number of icebergs have been seen, and owing to the thickness 
of the weather, we came very near running into several. The 
latitude by "dead reckoning" at meridian was 64 08' 00" 
south, longitude 165 27' 00" east. 

January 14th. The weather continues thick and disagree- 
able, but the wind has shifted to the northward and westward. 
About noon the fog lifted for a short time, and we counted 
sixty icebergs in sight. They excited much curiosity, as they 
presented a magnificent spectacle. Every fantastic form and 
variety of tint was there. Masses, assuming the shape of a 
Gothic church, with arched windows and doors, and all the 
rich drapery of that style, composed, apparently, of crystal, 
showing all the shades of opal, or of emerald green ; pillars 
and inverted cones, pyramids and mounds of every shape, 

* A piece of ice so large that its extent cannot be seen. 


The Whale. 


valleys and lakes, domes supported by round transparent 
columns of cerulian hue, and cities and palaces as white as the 
purest alabaster. The liveliest imagination could not paint 
to itself a scene more rich and grand, and we stood gazing 
at it with astonishment and admiration until it was again 
enveloped in the fog. 

January 16th. Towards noon the wind shifted to the 
northward, and at 8 P. M., to the southward and eastward, 
when it also became very light. Weather, during the first 
part, thick ; during the latter part, mild and pleasant. In the 
afternoon sounded with 250 fathoms line no bottom. Tem- 
perature at that depth 31, the same as at the surface. Dur-> 
ing the day passed through great quantities of drift ice ; saw 
several whales, a seal, and a great number of snow-birds. 
Latitude at noon 66 GO' 02" south, longitude 156 02' 00" 

January 17th. Commenced with light airs from the south- 
ward, and thick weather. Lay- to from 1 to 3.30 A. M., when 
it cleared off. At 4 P. M. the wind shifted again to the west- 
ward. At 6.15 P. M. we descried two sail one to wind- 
ward and the other to leeward proved to be the " Peacock " 
and " Porpoise ;" passed several icebergs of a pinnacle-shape. 
We have now reached the latitude of 66 26 00" south, and 
our nights are only four hours long. The weather has be- 
come more mild since the fog has disappeared, and being 
able to see our way among the ice-islands, we are making a 
fine progress. 

January 19th. Yesterday nothing worthy of notice tran- 
spired. This morning we found ourselves in a large bay ; the 
" Peacock" was in sight, and appeared to be standing to the 
westward. The water has a green appearance, but we have 
not been able to obtain bottom. It is believed by many of us 



that we are in the vicinity of land ; saw, in the course of the 
afternoon, several whales, and a flock of petrels of a species 
different from any heretofore observed by us. For the past 
three hours appearances have been visible both to the south- 
east and southwest which very much resemble mountains.* 

January 20th. Last night we witnessed a magnificent 
Aurora Australis. It rose in the south a, sort of semi-arch 
of light and then across the heavens in. almost every direc- 
tion, darted columns of a luminous character. The light was 
so bright that we could see to read the finest print with ease. 
In half an hour it had all disappeared. The weather is still 
mild. Saw several sperm-whales, and a flock of ice-pigeons, 
of which we were fortunate enough to obtain specimens. 

January 22d. At 3 P. M. the wind came out from the 
southward. Towards noon we stood along a line of icebergs, 
the surface of which was of a j^ellowish color. We also re- 
marked about the same time, that the water had become very 
much discolored. A flock of ducks were also seen. Latitude 
in at noon 66 12' 26" south, longitude 149 44' 00" east. 
Temperature of air 25, water 81. After sunset the wind 
shifted again to the southward and westward. 

January 23d. The weather continues mild and pleasant. 
At 12.30 P. M. tacked ship to the southward and eastward to 
clear the " barrier" of ice, which bore east-by-south. At 
2 P. M. a large, deep bay showed itself to the southward, 
which we entered, and soon after observed appearances of 
land, both to the eastward and westward. By midnight we 
again reached the " barrier," and therefore were compelled to 
stand back. Numerous birds were seen about the ship. 

* The same appearances \vcre observed by the "Peacock "and the " Porpoise," and 
It is now fully established that they were high land, and formed a part of the An- 
tarctic continent discovered by the Expedition. 


January 25th. To-day the crew has been employed in 
filling up the tanks with ice, obtained from an iceberg which 
was towed alongside. Those who have used the water pro- 
cured by this method, represent it as being of an excellent 
quality. Each piece was allowed to remain on deck some 
time for the salt water to drain off. In the afternoon we 
landed on the solid ice, and took some magnetic observations. 
We are once more steering to the southward. Latitude in at 
noon 67 04' 37" south, longitude 147 42' 00" east. Tem- 
perature of air 26, water 29. 

January 28th. During these twenty-four hours we fell in 
with the "Porpoise," and communicated with her. We 
found both officers and crew well and in good spirits. We 
received from her some specimens among others the skins of 
two sea-elephants. The wind is now blowing fresh from the 
southward and eastward, and the weather has again become 
very thick. The cold is intense, and coffee has been served to 
the crew at the commencement of each watch, which is found 
very warming and refreshing. 

January 29th. The weather continues unfavorable. At 
9.45 A. M., the fog lifted, and we again discovered high land 
a-head. We steered for it by the most open route, but after 
a run of about forty miles, we were obliged to retrace our 
course. We found ourselves beset by ice-islands and floe- 
ice,* while at times the fog was so dense that the largest objects 
could not be seen through it. At 10 P. M., the wind blew very 
fresh, and we had many narrow escapes. . We passed so near 
several of the bergs, that we could distinctly hear the waves 
dashing against their sides. Latitude in by " dead reckoning " 
65 28' 00" south ; longitude 140 45' 00" east. Tempera- 
ture of air 28. We are now hove-to, it being too dark to run. 

* A piece of ice of considerable si/e, hut the extent of which can be distinguished. 



January 30th. Early this morning we discovered more 
land to the southward and westward. It was several thou- 
sand feet high, and extended to the east and west as far as 
the eye could reach. We steered for it under all sail, intend- 
ing, if possible, to effect a landing upon some part of its coast ; 
but by 8 o'clock we reached the icy barrier, and thus were 
the third time compelled to turn back. How very provoking ! 
We found our latitude to be, when nearest to the barrier, 
66 38' 00" south ; longitude 140 00^ 00" east. Depth of 
water was twenty-five fathoms the color, a yellowish cast, or 
dirty green. Two ledges, composed of volcanic rock, were 
distinctly seen ; we also observed some columns bearing south, 
which had the appearance of volcanic smoke. To the west- 
ward of our position were numerous icebergs, which appeared 
to be aground. In the course of the afternoon, the wind, 
which in the morning had been moderate, freshened to a gale ; 
and, by 6 o'clock, we called all hands, and reduced sail to a 
close-reefed main-topsail and fore-storm staysail. The cold 
is very severe, and a number of the " look outs " have been 
badly frozen. 

January 31st. There is no improvement in the weather. 

February 1st. Last night the gale abated, and we are now 
favored with mild, pleasant weather. How grateful this feels 
after the stormy scenes we have passed through within the 
last forty-eight hours ! Our sick-list the last week has been 
very large. The fleet-surgeon attributes it to the climate, and 
has recommended to Captain Wilkes to return north.* Many 
of the men are affected with boils, which renders them almost 
useless. Rheumatic affections are also exceedingly prevalent. 

February 3d. On this day we experienced another severe 

* This recommendation was not listened to. 


During the 4th, 5th, and 6th, the weather continued unfa- 

On the 7th, we had clear weather and made very good pro- 
gress. The Antarctic Continent was several times in sight in 
the course of the day, and a point of it, situated in latitude 
65 48' 00" south, and longitude 131 40' 00" east, was 
named Cape Carr, after the first-lieutenant of this ship. 
The health of the crew is improving. 

February llth. We had moderate breezes from the south- 
ward and westward, accompanied with snow at intervals. 
Great numbers of penguins and petrels seen about the ship ; 
also a flock of birds, about the size of a gray plover, having 
black heads and bills, a white ring round the neck, and a 
small white spot on the tail the rest of the body of a pale ash 
color ; their flight and whistle were also similar to the plover. 
The continent was in sight to the westward, and the sea quite 
smooth and studded with icebergs of every variety of shape. 
During the night we hove-to, it being very dark. 

February 12th. At 8 A. M., we made sail. At 1 P. M., 
observed a range of mountains covered with snow, for which 
we steered until we came to the barrier of ice. From 2 to 
4.30 P. M., we " lay-to," in hopes of discovering an opening 
by which we could get near the land ; but none appeared. As 
usual, the barrier was formed of solid ice, and its line was 
nearly straight. Our latitude was 64 56' 00" south ; longi- 
tude 112 17' 00" east. At 4.45 sounded with 150 fathoms 
line thermometer attached temperature at that depth 29, 
at the surface 30. The color of the water was dirty green. 
Current there was none. At sunset land was still in sight, 
bearing from southwest-by-south to west half-north. 

February 14th. The weather continues pleasant. At 
daylight worked up for the clearest passage, and stood in for 


the continent among large brash-ice,* until 11.30 A. M., 
when the masses of ice became so thick as to render all fur- 
ther approach impossible. We were compelled to put the 
helm up and wear ship, picking our way out through passages 
not more than thirty feet in width. We saw distinctly from 
sixty to seventy miles of coast, and a mountain in the interior, 
which we estimated to be 2,500 feet in height. At 1 P. M., 
we effected a landing on an iceberg, and found imbedded in it 
sand, gravel, and rocks. These last were several feet in cir- 
cumference, and composed of basalt and red sandstone. 
Many of the smaller stones were brought on board, and they 
very soon disappeared, for every one was anxious to possess 
themselves of a piece of the new continent. There is no 
doubt in my mind, but that this mass of ice had once been a 
part of the icy barrier, and that the surface now exposed to 
view had rested on the bottom of the sea. Many species of 
zoophytes were seen about the berg. At 5 P. M., the boat 
returned, leaving on the ice a flag flying, with a bottle con- 
taining orders for the " Peacock " and " Porpoise," which 
vessels we have not seen for the past three weeks. When the 
boat was secured, we again filled away, and stood to the west- 
ward. We have now reached the longitude of 105 30' 00' 
east. Temperature of air 26, water 30. 

February 15th. This morning the wind hauled to the 
southward and westward, and ever since the weather has been 
cloudy and snowj 1 ". All the ice seen to-day has been dis- 
colored, more or less, by what appeared to be mud and gravel. 
Numerous whales, seals and penguins have been about the 

January 1*7 th. Last night another display of the Aurora 

* Ice in a broken state, and in such small pieces that the ship can easily force 


Australis was observed to the northward and westward. It 
reached to the zenith, the light shooting across the heavens in 
columns 40 or 50 broad, of a light-yellow color, slightly 
tinged with red, and moving very rapidly from east towards 
west. So brilliant and remarkable was the phenomenon, that 
almost every person in the ship came on deck to witness it. 
The star Canopus was in the zenith at the time, and its 
brightness appeared much diminished. 

At 2 P. M. we landed on an iceberg, upon which were 
found more stones. Upon it were also found a vast number 
of penguins, and several were captured and their skins pre- 
served for the government. They made a stout resistance, 
biting and striking those who seized them with their powerful 
flippers. One of them was a king penguin, and he could only 
be taken by knocking him down with a boat-hook. His height 
was 22 inches, and the circumference of the body 45 inches. 
He was a showy-looking bird, his head being adorned with 
bright yellow feathers, resembling a graceful plume. We also 
saw in the afternoon a sea-elephant, and we tried our best to 
kill him, by firing into him no less than sixteen musket balls, 
but he seemed not to mind them, and finally disappeared. 
Appearances of land have also been seen this day. The 
health of the crew continues to improve. 

February 20th. We have now light breezes from the west- 
ward. At 3.30 A. M. made the barrier at-head, and on the 
weather-bow kept off and set all sail. At 4 one hundred 
icebergs were counted in sight from aloft. At 6 made the 
barrier again, bearing southwest-by-west ; shortened sail, and 
hauled on a wind. At 11.30 lowered a boat to try the cur- 
rent, but found none ; at the same time sounded with 850 
fathoms line no bottom ; temperature at that depth 35, at 
the surface 31. Our longitude at noon was 101 46' 00" 



east, latitude 62 08' 05" south. The sea is quite smooth, 
and the surface is covered with shrimps. 

February 21st. This morning Captain Wilkes announced 
to the officers and crew his intention to bear-up and return 
north. The intelligence was received with much rejoicing, 
for we all felt worn out with fatigue and exposure. He also 
called aft all hands, and thanked them for the assistance they 
afforded him, and in addition he promised the sailors that he 
would use his utmost exertions to obtain extra pay for them. 

On the llth of March, at 1.30 P. M., we again dropped 
our anchor at Fort Macquarie, Sydney. Here we found the 
" Peacock." She arrived a few days before, and was now 
undergoing repairs, having sustained heavy damages during 
her late cruise by coming in contact with large masses of ice. 
We also heard here of the arrival at Hobart Town, Van 
Dieman's Land, of the French Expedition,* commanded by 
Admiral D'Urville. 

We remained at Sydney until the 19th of March. We 
then took our departure for New Zealand, where we arrived 
after a pleasant passage of eleven days. The " Peacock" re- 
ceived orders to follow as soon as her repairs were completed. 

* In 1837 the French Government sent out an Expedition under Rear-Admiral D'Ur- 
ville. an eminent explorer, who had already made three voyages round the world. 
Two corvettes, the "Astrolabe" and " Zele<'>," sailed from Toulon, and by the end 
of the year had followed Waddell's track in the Antarctic Seas until they were 
stopped by the ice between the 63d and 64th parallels. On three occasions an entrance 
was forced into it, but they were driven back each time, aud forced to return. 
After a protracted cruise in Polynesia and the Indian Archipelago, D'Urville resolved 
to make another attempt to get to the south, and touched at Hobart Town in a dis- 
tressed condition, having lost three officers and thirteen men by dysentery. He sailed 
January 1st, 1840, his special aim being to approach or reach the magnetic or ter- 
restial pole. On the 21st he was surrounded by numerous ice-islands, and saw a 
lofty line of coast covered with snow, stretching from southwest to northwest, ap- 
parently without limit. With some difficulty a landing was effected, and not being 
aware of our discovery two days before, possession was taken in the name of France, 
and the land was called. La Terra Adelie, after the wife of the discoverer. 




ON the morning of the 30th of March, having made New 
Zealand, we tacked ship and by 10.30 P. M., " came to " in 
the Bay of Islands in five fa,thoms water. Both the " Por- 
poise " and the "Flying Fish " were found at anchor here. 
The former reported that, after parting from us, she coasted 
along the solid barrier of ice several hundred miles, seeking in 
vain for an opening by which to approach the land beyond the 
barrier ; that she passed many icebergs in which were im- 
bedded gravel and boulders ; also, that she fell in with the 
French exploring squadron, and attempted to speak with the 
admiral's ship ("Astrolabe"), but when they had almost 
reached her, she tacked ship and stood awa} r thereby declin- 
ing any communication. 

The " Flying Fish " experienced very severe weather, by 
which her safety was much endangered, but she did not dis- 
cover any land. The Bay of Islands is very capacious, and 
affords excellent anchorage to vessels of all classes. It is 
studded with many islands, and hence the name. These 
islands are df a very irregular figure, and destitute of vegeta- 
tion. The bay has been surveyed several times by the French, 
and we believe very thoroughly. It is ten miles from head to 

* The two islands that go by the name of New Zealand are situated between the 
latitude 34* 2-2' 00" and 47 25' 00" south, and between the longitude 166 00' 00" and 
ISO 00' 00" east. 


head. The shores are divided into steep cliffs and heads, 
with intermediate beaches. Its anchorages are numerous, but 
those which are now more generally used are the River Rawa 
Kawa and the Bay of .Kororakia ; they are preferred on 
account of the convenience they afford for watering, repairing, 
and communicating with the shore. 

The adjacent country is hilly, and much more barren than 
productive, the soil containing too great a quantity of clay to 
be good. The vegetation consists of fern, a few stunted trees 
and patches of brush, close-set, and almost impenetrable. 
The soil in the interior of the island is richer, and produces 
various natural productions,* some of which are extremely 
valuable. The flax-plant, which is indigenous, meets the eye 
in every direction. It is converted by the natives to a variety 
of purposes. It supplies them with excellent materials for 
clothing, cordage, and fishing-nets, and the preparation being 
simple, requires very little trouble. 

There are many English and some French who have settled 
in this part of New Zealand. They are mostly ship-carpen- 
ters and farmers. They live in houses built in the European 
style, and cultivate corn, potatoes,! onions, &c., &c., for 
which they always find a ready market among the shipping. 

Pahia, the Episcopal mission establishment, is situated on 
the west side of the Bay, and commands a beautiful water- 
prospect, and is the residence of all those connected with the 
mission. About five miles further toward the north is the site 
chosen by the British government! for the future City of 

* Pines are here to be met with soaring to % height which leaves no similarity 
between them and the tallest that ever grow on the pine-lands of the United States. 
Here are also several kinds of trees admirably well adapted for ornamental work. 

f The potato was introduced by Captain Cook. It has been cultivated ever since 
his visit, and is now very abundant. 

J A few weeks previous to our arrival at the Bay of Islands, Captain Hobson, of 
the Royal Navy, called a meeting of all the principal chiefs, and effected a treaty 


Victoria. It is not a pleasant location, nor is the anchorage 
as good as some others in the bay. 

The Aborigines of New Zealand are of good size, well 
formed, and have fine eyes, but their noses are inclined to be 
flat, the nostrils large and thin, and their mouths wide. Both 
men and women have their faces elaborately tattooed, which 
gives them a striking appearance. Their hair is straight, 
coarse, and black. The complexion varies from dark olive to 
copper-color. Their dress formerly consisted of mats made 
of flax and skins, but now they generally wear trowsers and 
jackets ; some wear hats, but we saw none who made use of 
shoes. The females wear a loose petticoat made of blue nan- 
keen or calico. They all have their ears bored, and wear ear- 
rings made of sharks' teeth, tipped with small bright- colored 
feathers. The chiefs and their wives wear round their necks 
what is termed " heitiki,"* an ornament which the common 
people are not permitted to use, and which is handed down 
from father to son. Fish, potatoes and shells constitute the 
chief articles of their diet. Meat they seldom or never use, 
except on important occasions. Their fishing-tackle does not 
differ materially from that which is used by the Tahitians and 
Samoa people. When a party has fixed upon a place where they 
intend to haul the seine, they taboof it that is, they prohibit 
others from fishing upon the same place. When they take a 
greater number of fish than they can consume at once, they 

with them, which made a cession of their lands, authority and persons to Queen 
Victoria. We were told by the French and American residents that at first a large 
number of chiefs were opposed to the treaty, but had been gained over by presents 
of powder and rum. 

Since the above was writen, the whole island has passed into the hands of England, 
and Lord Derby's administration conferred upon the colonists a free constitution. 

* The Heitiki is made of a stone of a green color found on the borders of a small 
lake, called Terrai Pounamu. 

t The Taboo laws are strictly observed, even among those who have become Chris- 
tians, and are always resorted to, to protect their property. 


dry them on hot stones, by which means they keep a long 
time. That they may better protect themselves against their 
enemies, they build their villages on the tops of the highest 
hills, and surround them with palisades and trenches. They 
are said to have improved in the construction of their houses, 
but there is still great room for improvement ; they are yet 
small, low, and very filthy. Their furniture consists of a few 
mats and baskets, an old sea-chest, and an iron pot or two, in 
which they cook their food. 

The New Zealanders are industrious, compared with most 
of the South Sea Islanders. They cultivate a surplus of 
provisions for sale, cut timber, clean flax, raise pigs, poultry, 
&c., &c. They also ship as sailors on board of whalers* and 
other vessels, which may stand in need of their services. 
They are apt in learning the names of the rigging, and are 
very active aloft. 

In disposition they are zealous, revengeful, and cunning; 
but, on the other hand, they are hospitable and generous to 
strangers. Their courage is not to be questioned. Their 
wars often last till one or the other of the parties are exter- 
minated, and it is said that the horrible custom of feasting on 
the flesh of their prisoners is still practised by the tribes who 
occupy the interior of the island. These wars are oftentimes 
occasioned by the bad conduct of single individuals, their 
crimes being charged to the whole tribe to which' they may be- 
long. The tribes who live about the Bay of Islands are well 
acquainted with the use of money. They are also well ac- 
quainted with fire-arms, and in their conflicts prefer them to 
the weapons of their own manufacture, which consist of spears 

* Whales are very numerous about New Zealand, and a great number of vessels 
resort there to engage in the whaling business. The American vessels alone amount 
to seventy or eighty a year. 


and clubs. Both sexes are addicted to rum-drinking and 
tobacco-chewing bad practices which, no doubt, they have 
acquired from the convicts and other low whites who have 
settled among them. Suicide is very common among all the 
tribes. A woman who is badly treated by her husband will 
immediately go and hang herself. This is also frequently 
done at the death of a near relative. 

Their laws are simple, clear, and few in number. The 
most important ones are those which concern the division of 
land. The lower classes are perfectly subordinate to their 
superiors, whom they style Etakatika and Epoda. Here is a 
mode of government entirely analogous to that which prevails 
in the islands of the Indian Seas, where the chief authority is 
vested in the Rajah, whose rank resembles that of the Areekee 
of New Zealand, and who commands the services of the pan- 
geran or heads of the dusums, or villages. These latter cor- 
respond exactly with the subordinate chiefs above mentioned, 
and like them they acknowledge a superior, though, with re- 
spect to their possessions, they are independent of his control. 

The religious belief of those who have not embraced Chris- 
tianity is as follows : That they are surrounded by invisible 
spirits, who must be conciliated by prayers and ceremonies, 
as they have power over the elements, and can at any time 
raise the wind and waves against them. They also believe 
their priests to be prophets, who can foretell future events, 
which they (the priests themselves) pretend have been com- 
municated to them directly from some genii, or spirits, which 
supposed to have taken them under their especial care. 

A few days after our arrival, Pomare, the chief of the 
town of Para, paid us a visit. He came off in a war-canoe, 
and was attended by forty of his people, men and women. 
He was a tall, well-formed man, and I should judge about 


35 years of age. His dress consisted of a blue naval cap, 
with a gold-lace band, a blanket tied around his neck, 
leaving his right arm free, a shirt, and a pair of trowsers ; his 
feet were bare. In his hand he carried a short cloak, made 
of dog-skins, dressed with the hair on it is his state-dress. 
His face is handsomely tattooed, though its expression is not 
a pleasing one. He is a great beggar, and as great a drunkard, 
and is said to openly carry on the infamous traffic in women. 
The females who accompanied him to the ship were, I was 
informed, his wives, and one or two of them were quite good- 
looking. When about to leave the ship, Captain Wilkes 
made him a present of a cutlass, with which he appeared 
much pleased, and which he handed over to his favorite wife 
for safe keeping. 

During our stay at the Bay of Islands, the mean tempera- 
ture was 65. The prevailing winds were from the southeast 
and west. From what I could learn by conversing with the 
foreign residents, the climate of New Zealand is best suited 
to a European constitution of any in the south seas. The 
aboriginal inhabitants are liable to rheumatism and consump- 
tion. The venereal disease is also very common among them, 
and from want of proper medical treatment, it but too fre- 
quently proves fatal. 




ON the 6th of April, at 10 A. M., the squadron sailed 
from New Zealand for the Friendly Islands.* It was a de- 
lightful day, and every one appeared in fine spirits. At 2.30 
we discharged the pilot, and by sunset land was out of sight. 

On the 13th the wind shifted to the southward and west- 
ward, and was accompanied with a rough sea, which caused 
the ship to roll heavily. We passed over the position assigned 
to Roseta Shoal, but could not find anything of it. 

At daylight, April 14th, we made Sunday Island, but owing 
to the unfavorable state of the weather we did not attempt to 
land upon it. It is high and rugged, and showed no evidence 
of being inhabited by human beings. 

During the 15th we communicated with the American 
whaler, named Tobacco Plant. She had been out two years, 
and during that time had captured only seven whales. The 
following night was a very clear one, and many meteors were 
observed, some of which left broad, luminous tracks, that were 
visible for thirty seconds after the disappearance of the bodies. 

On the 19th we saw a water-spout. It commenced forming 
about a third of a mile to the windward of the ship, and the 
water, for many yards in circumference, appeared in great 
agitation, flying up in jets to the height of forty or fifty feet. 

* This cognomen was given to the Tonga Islands by Captain Cook, who expe- 
rienced great, kindness from the natives. 


It had considerable motion, and crossed the ship's bows, but 
did not proceed more than two or three miles before it broke. 

During the 21st we passed through large " fields of sperm- 
whale-feed," a scummy-looking substance, floating on the sur- 
face of the water, and of a color nearly red. It seems almost 
impossible that so immense an animal could subsist on food 
apparently containing so little nutriment. We were now in 
latitude 22 45' 00" south, and longitude 174 50' 00" east. 

At 2 P. M. on the 24th we came-to off Nookualofa, the 
principal town of Tonga Island, and the station of the Wes- 
leyan Mission. We found here the " Flying Fish," which 
had separated from us some days previous. The missionary 
gentlemen, Messrs. Tucker and Rabone, paid us a visit on the 
same afternoon, and from them we learned that the Christian 
and heathen parties were at war* with each other. 

About sunset a large double canoe, filled with warriors, 
arrived. They belonged to the neighboring islands 3 Hapai 
and Vavao, and came to assist the Christian party. This was 
the first double canoe we had .seen. It consisted of two canoes 
joined together by a deck thrown across them both. On the 
deck a small house was erected, which answered as a cabin ; 
above the house was a square platform, with a rail around it. 
The mast was from forty to fifty feet in height, and carried a 
long yard, upon which was spread a triangular sail made of 
matting. It was steered by an oar. These canoes tack and 
wear in all weathers, are good sea-boats, and sail from eight 
to ten miles per hour. 

April 25th. It is reported that eight heathen, or " Devils," 
and two Christians were killed last night in a skirmish, which 

* During our stay at Nookualofa, Captain Wilkes did all in his power to restore 
peace between the parties, but without success, and I am sorry to add that the Chris- 
tians were the authors of the principal difficulties thrown in his way. 


took place between five hundred of the latter, who had gone 
out to work upon their yam-patches, and about an equal num- 
ber of the heathen. These last out-numbered the Christians, 
but the latter are assisted by Yaufahau, or King George of 
Hapai and Vavao, who can bring in the field 800 fighting men. 

About 10 A. M ., Captain Wilkes, accompanied by several 
of the officers, left the ship to pay a visit to King Josiah, or 
Tubau, who resides at Nookualofa, and is the king of the 
Christian party. In the course of the afternoon another 
double-canoe arrived, having one hundred of King George's 
warriors on board. They were tall, fine-looking men, and all 
ready for meeting the enemy ; some being armed with clubs, 
some with spears, and others with muskets. They had their 
faces painted in the most grotesque manner with yellow, red, 
black and white stripes. I saw several with a red nose, 
black cheeks, yellow chin, and green eyebrows. 

April 28th. To-day several of the chiefs of the heathen 
party visited the ship. According to their statement the 
Christians are entirely in the fault. They assert that they 
did not commence the present war, but that they were forced 
into it by the. Christians, who seemed determined to exterminate 
them unless they exchanged the belief of their fathers for that 
of the new religion. They also complained that the Christians 
endeavored to deprive them of their national amusements, by 
prohibiting dancing and singing. 

In the afternoon I visited Nookualofa. It is pleasantly 
situated, and contains from five to six hundred houses. It is 
surrounded by an embankment composed of logs and earth, 
on the top of which is a wicker-fence ; on the outside of the 
intrenchment is a ditch about twelve feet wide by six feet 
deep. There are three principal entrances, which are very 
narrow and low, and have loop-holes on either side, through 


which muskets may be fired in case of an attack. The build- 
ings are of elliptical or circular form ; they are divided into 
two or three apartments by matting or tapa screens, and those 
of the better class look clean and comfortable. The furniture 
consists of the ava-bowl,* a box containing all the valuables 
of the family, a pile or two of mats, 'serving both as beds and 
settees, and a few rolls of thin tapa, which the inmates use as 
a covering at night, and to protect them from the mosquitoes, 
which are not only very abundant, but extremely troublesome. 
The house of King Josiah is no larger nor better constructed 
than those of his subjects. All the women and children whom 
I saw were nearly white, and had pleasing features. It is the 
custom here for children of both sexes to go about in a state 
of nature. In the outskirts of the town I fell in with several 
3 r oung girls, who were employed in making tapa cloth. The 
mode of proceeding was as follows : Each piece of bark was 
taken singly, and laid on a piece of wood fifteen or twenty feet 
long, six inches square, and smooth on the upper side. It 
was then beaten with a mallet of hard, heavy wood, about 
twenty inches in length by three inches wide, till the required 
extent and texture were produced. Three sides of this piece 
of wood are carved in ribs or grooves, in order that one mallet 
may answer for the different kinds of cloth that are made. 
Sometimes four or five pieces of bark are necessary to make one 
piece of cloth. When the cloth is made it is laid out in the 
sun, where it soon dries, and is ready for use. Two of these 
girls had European features, with jet-black locks, which almost 

* The Ava is a root of a pungent and an intoxicating nature, with which the men 
are fond of indulging themselves. They employ young girls to chew it for them, 
and spit it into a wooden bowl used for no other purpose ; after which a small 
quantity of water is added to it, when the juice is strained into cups made of 
cocoa nut-shells, and passed round among them. It has the effect of making the 
skin fall off in white scales, affects the nerves and appetite, and brings on a pre- 
mature old age. 


reached the ground. They were also very sociable, and gave 
me to understand by means of signs, that the tapa I saw them 
making, was intended as a bridal present to a near relative. 

April 29th. At 2 P. M., the two kings, Josiah and 
George, came to the Observatory to pay a visit to Captain 
Wilkes. The latter is about forty years of age, and is a 
remarkably fine-looking man, being six feet and upwards in 
height, with regular features, a dignified mien, and a very 
intelligent face. His attire consisted simply of a large piece 
of white tapa wound round his waist in loose folds, hanging 
down to the feet, and leaving his arms and breast entirely 
bare. He is, as has already been observed, master of Hapai 
and Vavoa,* and no doubt he will ere long possess himself 
of Tonga, as King Josiah is represented as a very weak- 
minded old man, and caring little about the affairs of govern- 
ment. Their majesties were attended by about a hundred of 
their warriors, who were armed and painted after the manner 
of war. Previous to returning to Nookualofa, Captain Wilkes 
brought them on board the ship, arid, after treating them to a 
lunch, he made them some presents in the name of the 
government. Josiah, or Tubou, is a son of Mumuz, who was 
king in the "time of the celebrated Captain Cook. He is 
about sixty years of age, but he appears much older. 

The two kings had scarcely left the ship, when one of the 
heathen who had been alongside for the purpose of trade, 
came running up to Lieutenant Case and begged him to got 
his canoe, which, he said, two of George's warriors had taken 
from him by force. The circumstance was reported by Cap- 
tain Wilkes to King George, who immediately gave orders for 
the canoe to be returned to the owner. 

* These islands are situated about thirty miles from Tonga, and are represented as 
being high, and subject to severe storms. The inhabitants are of the same extraction 
as the Tongese. 


May 1st. At 11 this morning, the " Porpoise " arrived. 
In the afternoon we sent for the pilot. He came on board, 
but stated that he could not take us to sea, because he had 
been ordered by King George not to do so. Captain Wilkes 
told him that if such was the case he might leave the ship. 
He then gave orders for the vessels to get under-way, and 
anchor as near the town as possible. This being done, Lieu- 
tenant Case was sent to call on his majesty, and demand an 
explanation for his unfriendly behavior. In a few minutes, 
Mr. C. returned, and reported that King George was out 
fighting, but that he had seen King Josiah, who assured him 
that George had no desire to prevent our going to sea ; that 
the pilot had told us a falsehood, and if Captain Wilkes 
wished it, he would have him punished. We are now con- 
vinced that King George knew nothing of the matter, and 
that the pilot's story was the result of fear, he having heard 
another pilot say that if the ship went ashore he would be 
hung. He therefore did not wish to have anything to do 
with us, and supposed by pretending to act under the orders 
of the king, we would not force him to take the vessel to sea. 

May 2d. To-day King Josiah sent on board both his 
pilots, one of whom is a native of Tahiti and speaks very 
good English. Towards noon, a fine breeze sprung up from 
the northward and eastward. At 2 got under-way ; shortly 
after the " Peacock " hove in sight beat to windward until 
we joined company with her, when we stood for the western 
passage, and at 5.15 we anchored again. 

May 3d. This being Sunday, at 10.30 divine service was 
performed as usual. At meridian, compared chronometers 
with the other vessels of the squadron. It is reported that 
we leave here to-morrow. 

May 4th. During these twenty-four hours the wind has 


been blowing from the southward and eastward, accompanied 
with rain at intervals. At an early hour the squadron got 
under-way and proceeded to sea. 

I propose before I conclude this chapter, to make a few 
general remarks. 

Tonga Island, or Tangataboo, was discovered by the Dutch 
about the middle of the seventeenth century, and was by 
them named Amsterdam. It is of coral formation, and has a 
lagoon, which extends about twelve miles into the interior. 

The climate is not considered salubrious. The temperature 
is frequently 96 in the shade, and the transitions from heat 
to cold are sudden. Hurricanes prevail during the months of 
January, February and March ; they vary in duration from 
twelve to twenty-four hours; and after a severe one, a famine 
generally follows, in which great numbers of the inhabitants 
die ; they blow down trees and destroy all kinds of crops. 
The native name for them is " Afa hagi fagii," which signifies 
in English, the storm that throws down the trees and houses. 
The soil is very fertile, being composed of several feet in 
depth of vegetable mould, and is overgrown with a dense forest 
of cocoa-nut trees. The productions are yams, taro, bread- 
fruit, bananas, sugar-cane, shaddocks, oranges, and a species 
of nutmeg. 

The inhabitants are probably of the same extraction as the 
natives of the Society Islands, Marquesas Islands, and the 
Navigator Group, since there is an evident resemblance in 
their manners, customs and language. The women are hand- 
some and graceful in their manners. Those who have children 
show a remarkable tenderness for them, and pay the greatest 
attention to their wants. 

They generally rise with tho sun, and after having enjoyed 
the cool of the evening, retire to their repose a short time 


after sunset. The chiefs are occupied in making canoes arid 
implements of war ; the common people are chiefly employed 
in the cultivation of the soil and in fishing ; and the women 
are engaged in the manufacture of cloths and mats. It is a 
common practice for parents to make a present of their 
children to chiefs, or others, who adopt them as their own. 
This custom gives the chiefs many adopted children, and 
tends to increase their influence and power. After the child 
is grown up, one-half of its earnings goes to its adopted 
parent. Rank descends altogether by the female line hence, 
if a woman is noble, the children are also noble. No people 
respect old age more than the Tongese. Every aged man and 
woman employ the attention and services of the younger 
classes of people. 

At Nookualofa, schools have been established ; houses for 
stated religious worship erected ; a printing. press put into 
operation, and books published in the native dialect ; and the 
children are taught, both by the missionaries and native 
teachers, reading, writing, and the elementary principles of 
refined education. 

They barter their commodities chiefly for whale's teeth, 
blue nankeen, tortoise-shell, glass beads, looking-glasses, cut- 
lery and small axes. With the whales' teeth they decorate 
their spears and clubs, and make neck and ear ornaments. 
They are acquainted with the use of most of our tools, and 
prefer them in the construction of their houses and canoes to 
their own. For some years past considerable intercourse has 
been maintained with the natives of the Fejee Islands, which 
are situated about 350 miles from Nookualofa. The trade 
with American and European vessels is, I understand, very 
limited and precarious. 




ON the 6th of May, the second day out" from Nookualofa, 
we made several of the southern islands of the Fejee Group, 
and sent the brig " Porpoise " to survey them. All these 
islands appeared high, woody, and picturesque. The weather 
during the night was very misty and disagreeable. 

On the morning of the 8th, we reached the harbor of 
Levuka, the principal port of the Island of Ovolau. Great 
numbers of the natives had collected on the beach to witness 
our coming to anchor, and the sensation which the manoeuvre 
created among them can be better imagined than described ; 
it is no exaggeration to say, that for the next fifteen minutes it 
was impossible to hear our own voices, so loud and deafening 
were their shouts of admiration. 

Levuka is a fine harbor, being capacious, easy of access, 
and perfectly safe. Soon after we came-to, a small cutter, 
belonging to the ship " Leonidas," of Salem, Mass., arrived 
and anchored. She had come to purchase provisions for the 
use of the ship, which was at anchor at one of the neighboring 

In the afternoon, the principal chief of Ovolau, accompanied 
by an American, named David Whippy, came on board to 
welcome us. Our countryman told us the chief had a great 
number of names, but he was best known by that of Levuka. 
He is a middle-aged man, of a good height, strong and well- 


proportioned. The color of his skin was nearly black, and he 
was entirely naked, except about the loins and head. The 
latter was enveloped in rolls of very thin white tapa, which, I 
was told, none but the chiefs were allowed to wear. He has a 
good-natured face, and offered to procure provisions for us, or 
do anything else in his power. He remained on board 
upwards of an hour, and received a number of presents from 
the officers ; among others, a whale's tooth, than which nothing 
can be more valuable in the estimation of a Fejeean. Two 
of these will buy a boat-load of yams and a dozen pigs, or a 
thousand cocoa-nuts. 

We learned from Whippy that there were altogether five 
white men residing in Levuka Town, and that they were much 
feared and respected by the natives, on account of their supe- 
rior knowledge. He also mentioned their being married to 
Fejee women, and having large families of children. 

At an early hour on the 9th, Captain Wilkes, with a num- 
ber of the officers from this ship and the " Peacock," set out 
on an excursion to the heights in the interior of the island. 
On this day we also sent on shore all the scientific instruments. 
About sunset Captain Wilkes and party returned. They 
succeeded in reaching the summit of Andulong, the highest 
mountain in the island, and made many interesting discoveries 
in the botany of the country. 

The following day Mr. B. and myself visited the shore. 
We landed on the beach abreast of the town, where we found 
great numbers of men, women and children assembled. A 
walk of but a few yards brought us to the Spirit-house, or 
" Booree," which we were invited to enter by the Chief 
Levuka, and his attendants, who were sitting in it at the same 
time. Each town or village has one of these buildings. 
This one stands on the top of a mount, which has been raised 


by the hands of man eight or ten feet above the common build- 
ings. It has a square shape, with a roof running up to a 
point in the centre, and is profusely ornamented with the white 
cowry. The sides are made of reeds of a uniform size, bound 
together, side by side, with senet. In the front, there are 
two stone-steps, each of which leads to a doorway. The floor 
is raised about six inches above the ground, and is covered 
with mats, two and three thick. At one side there is a fire- 
place, over which is suspended a platform made of reeds. 
There were also some spears and clubs standing up in one of 
the corners ; but no images, nor anything that gave the slightest 
indication of its being a place of worship were to be seen. 
While we remained here several of the people who inhabit the 
mountainous parts of the island, came to make presents to 
Levuka, in proof of their good faith. It was a novel and sin- 
gular ceremony. Each one, as he entered the Spirit-house, 
paused, and in a loud and solemn tone pronounced the word 
" Booree ;" he then advanced to the centre of the building, 
where he deposited his present, consisting of 3 T ams, taro, 
bananas, ava, pigs, &c., &c. This over, he threw himself on 
his knees, and bowed to the chief three times; after which 
he arose and took his leave. These dissentions between the 
natives occupying the shores and those who live in the interior, 
are common to all the islands, and are carried on in the most 
cowardly and brutal manner. Often in the dead hour of night 
a band of these savages will pounce upon some unsuspecting 
family, or hamlet, and make an indiscriminate slaughter of 
men, women and children. A man and his wife, going to culti- 
vate their yarn-patch, may be surprised by 50 or 100 warriors, 
carried off, cooked and eaten. A brave, fearless meeting of 
hostile parties in the open field to decide their disputes by 
deeds of noble daring never takes place. 



From the Spirit-house we went to visit some of the common 
houses. These had very steep roofs, low sides, and only one- 
door, and that made low and narrow, as a protection against the 
entrance of enemies, or that they may club them while creep- 
ing in, should they attempt it. Cocoa-nut or pandanus-wood 
and bamboos, with leaves of sugar-cane, are the materials em- 
ployed in their construction. The interior is without partition 
or separate apartments ; the floor is made of earth, sand, or 
gravel, strewed over with cocoa-nut leaves, and covered with 
mats. One side of the floor is raised about eight inches higher 
than the rest, which is called the bed-place, where they sleep. 
It is generally covered with a double layer of mats. Their 
pillows are made of a round stick, about the diameter of a 
spade-handle, with pins about four inches long stuck in it for 
the feet. Some of these are sufficiently long to accommodate 
three or four persons. Towards one corner of the building, 
a space, about five feet square, is inclosed by four large square 
logs of hard wood. This inclosure is the general cooking-place. 
The principal cooking-utensil is a large clay-jar, with a spheri- 
cal bottom ; it is permanently fixed on its side, near the bot- 
tom, at an angle of about forty-five degrees from perpendicular, 
with a space under it to admit fire. Over the cooking-place 
is a platform, upon which they dry and smoke much of their 
provisions. As these houses have no chimneys, they are, as 
might be supposed, filled with smoke and soot. I was sur- 
prised to find the houses belonging to the . white residents 
no better furnished than those of the natives. They eat, 
sleep, and sit on the floor like the savages with whom they 
associate. I also observed that their children are brought up 
like those of the natives, in ignorance and nakedness. 

Having seen all that was new or strange about the town, 
we set out to take a walk into the interior of the island. 


Though mountainous, it is very fertile and picturesque. 
Change of place changed not the scene. Everywhere it pre- 
sented the richest soil and most luxuriant vegetation the 
verdure running even into the sea. Vines and trees sprung 
from the very rocks, while the neatly-thatched cottages of the 
natives, seemingly dropped, perchance, over the landscape, 
and peeping through cocoa-nut and bread-fruit tree groves, 
gave a lively appearance to the coup-d'oeil. In this delightful 
walk we met numbers of people, some traveling down to the 
ships with their burdens of fruit, others returning empty. 
They all gave us the road, turning to the right and left, and 
standing still till we passed. 

We got back to the town just in time to witness another in- 
teresting sight. During our walk several of the " Peacock's" 
officers came on shore, and they prevailed on Levuka to give 
them a native dance and song. The performers were all 
young unmarried women, and the dance consisted of a kind of 
a hopping-step, accompanied with clapping of the hands. The 
subject of the song was the return of the king, Tanoa, to 
Ambon, after a war, which obliged him to fly to a neighbor- 
ing island. When the performance was over, most of these 
damsels came to the place where we were standing, and de- 
' sired us to give them some paint. We each happened to have 
some about us, and shared it out among them, and in a few 
minutes after we saw them with their faces besmeared with it. 
They, like all the other women we had seen, were almost 
naked. In color they were a shade lighter than the men, and 
several had delicate, pleasing features. 

On the morning of the llth, several of the boats left the 
ship on surveying duties. About noon the " Flying Fish" ar- 
rived. Her Commander reported that she had run on the 
reef off the Island of Nirai, and for several hours was threat- 


ened with total shipwreck. She was finally, however, hauled 
off, and the only damage sustained was the loss of part of her 
false keel. 

In the course of the 12th, King Tanpa arrived from Am- 
bou, and sent his messenger on board to say to Captain 
Wilkes that he and his chiefs were coming next day to pay 
him an official visit. The messenger was instructed to state 
to the king that we would be prepared to receive him. His 
majesty disembarked, accompanied by his attendants, and, 
proceeded directly to the Council House, which is the place 
where all strangers are entertained. Here they seated them- 
selves, and commenced exchanging compliments with the Chief 
Levuka, and his head men. When this was over, the common 
people brought food and placed it before the visitors ; it con- 
sisted of yams, taro, bread-fruit, and a roasted pig ; the 
present was accompanied by a speech from Levuka, to which 
the King's Prime Minister replied; then came clapping of 
hands, which is the Fejee mode of expressing thanks. When 
the meal was over, they all indulged in large potations of ava, 
which also was furnished by the Levukians. 

At 10 A. M., the king and his chiefs visited the ship. 
They were received with a guard and by all the officers belong,- 
ing to the " Peacock," Flying Fish," and this ship. The 
quarter-deck was also dressed off for their reception. When 
the king came over the side Captain Wilkes took him by the 
hand, and led him aft on the quarter-deck, w'lere he was in- 
vited to take a seat. For a considerable time his majesty 
said nothing, nor could we conjecture what caused him to 
be so silent ; at length, however, he directed the interpreter, 
David Whippy, to ask if we were offended with him, adding, 
that he was led to suppose so, from the fact that we did not 
fire a salute upon his coming on board. Whippy was directed 


to assure him that we were pleased to see him, and to add, that 
it was our intention, before he left the ship, to fire a large 
salute. The king being satisfied with this explanation, a 
council was held, which resulted in the adoption of rules and 
regulations for the intercourse of American vessels, similar to 
those established at the Navigator and Society Islands.* This 
business over, Captain Wilkes invited all the company into" 
the cabin, where a collation was prepared. The sigh t* of so 
many new things as the cabin presented, excited their highest 
admiration and wonder. In about half an hour the king rose 
up and expressed a wish to examine the ship ; upon which, 
Captain W. took him around all the decks. He expressed 
great astonishment at the number and size of our guns and at 
the ship's wheel, and observed, that he could not understand 
how we could steer our " big canoe" by such contrivance. 

On returning to the spar-deck the salute was ordered to be 
fired. He was greatly terrified at the firing of the third gun, 
which had been charged with a stand of grape that he might 
see their effect, and desired the interpreter to say to Captain 
Wilkes that he was satisfied, and request him to stop firing. 
When the company returned to the quarter-deck, the purser 
made them suitable presents in the name of the government ; 
these consisted of axes, plain-irons, accordions, whales' teeth, 
shawls, muskets, watches, Windsor soap, tobacco and pipes; 
they were received with much clapping of hands. His majesty 
w r as highly delighted after this on seeing the marine guard go 
through the manual exercise. In expressing their satisfaction 
at anything, they repeat the word " vinaka" several times 
very quickly. Nothing more of importance passed, and shortly 
after, the king rose to take his leave. The guard was turned 

* A copy of these Rules may be seen in the Appendix. 


out, and the same honors paid him on his going away, as when 
he came on board. 

Tanoa belongs to the highest order of chiefs and is con- 
sidered very powerful. He is about 70 years of age, tall and 
slender ; his countenance is pleasing and intelligent ; he wore 
the maro with long ends hanging down before and behind, and 
the usual head-dress of the chiefs called " Sala." On his 
breast hung an ornament about eighteen inches in circumfer- 
ence made of ivory, tortoise shell and mother-of-pearl. Upon 
his arms he had strings of trochus shell ground down so as to 
resemble rings ; his face, beard and moustaches were bedaubed 
with black paint ; his hair, like that of all his people is crispy. 
He has a great impediment in his speech, so much so, that there 
are few persons who can understand him. He is a good friend 
to the whites, and calls those who live in his dominions his 
children, and causes the other natives to treat them with kind- 
ness and respect. His suite on this occasion consisted of 
twelve chiefs, and several Tonga men who seemed to be great 
favorites with him. All these chiefs were young looking men, 
and their countenances indicated shrewdness and intelligence. 

Whippy told us, that after they left the ship, they had a 
great deal to say about their reception ; and all seemed to be 
pleased, and expressed the wish that " big canoes" would often 
come to visit them. 

May 14th. The king paid us another long visit to-day. He 
came on board, when the colors were hoisted, and did not go 
away until a few minutes before sunset. He told us he came 
this time " to see for himself," and asked to dispense with all 
ceremony. About 1 o'clock two of his people came along- 
side with his dinner. He sent word to them that he had been 
invited to dine on board the ship, and to take the dinner on 
shore again ; it was brought in an iron pot, and consisted of 


yams and taro. On leaving the ship he shook hands with all 
the officers, and mentioned that he should return to-morrow to 
Ambou, and in a few days his son Seruh would pay us a visit. 
May 15th. This morning the " Peacock " got under-way 
and stood out to sea. I understand she has orders to proceed 
direct to Rewa, and make every endeavor to capture the chief 
Vendovi it being known that he is deeply implicated in the 
murders committed on the crew of the brig "Charles Daggett." 
The details of this horrible transaction are, as near as we can 
learn, as follows : The brig, some years since, came among 
these islands to obtain Biche de Mar.* The captain, 
(Bachelor,) became acquainted with Vendovi, and having, as he 
supposed, obtained his good-will, determined to make his 
island one of the principal stations. They previously took on 
board, as pilots and interpreters, several white men who were 
living on the islands. He also took the precaution at first of 
keeping a chief, as hostage, on board ; but who, after a few days, 
pretending to be sick, was sent on shore. One of the inter- 
preters, who was then at the Biche de Mar house, perceiving 
this, and observing at the same time some suspicious move- 
ments among the natives, became convinced that they had 
formed the design of taking the vessel, and as soon as he saw 
the mate told him what he had observed, and cautioned him 
to be on his guard. The mate immediately came to the same 
conclusion, and turned to walk to the landing-place, where he 
had left his boat ; but Vendovi, who was in company with him 
suspected that his treachery had been detected, and he deter- 
mined to secure him. He took the hand of the mate in a friendly 
manner, and walked along some distance with him. Then 
suddenly stopping, he seized both the mate's arms and pinioned 

* This animal is sometimes called Sea-Sing. It is found on the reefs, and when pre- 
pared, it is sent to China, where it is used as an ingredient in soup. 


them to his side. This was the signal for a general assault. 
Some of the savages beat out the brains of the mate with 
clubs while he was held by Vendovi, and a large number 
attacked the house in which the other men were, and killed 
two of them. The interpreter and a Tahitian escaped with 
great difficulty by swimming off to a boat. The next day the 
bodies of the murdered men were obtained by paying a musket 
for them, and were buried along-side the vessel. 

Rewa is situated on the eastern side of the Island of Viti- 
levu, and contains between two and three hundred houses. 
Its chief is styled a king, and, like Tanoa, exercises absolute 
authority over his people. 

May 17th. To-day, David Bateman (marine) departed this 
life. He had been sick some time with an affection of the 
lungs. He was removed to this ship about ten days ago, from 
the " Porpoise," and was then very ill. Since our arrival 
here he was sent on shore, where a suitable place was provided 
for him, and every attention shown him by the surgeon of the 
vessel. He was buried in a small garden belonging to one of 
the white residents. 

May 19th. We should judge from the great quantities of 
fish which have been brought along-side for sale for the past 
two or three days, that they are very abundant in these waters. 
They were taken mostly by the women, on the reefs, at low 
water, by means of hand-nets. It is a very common thing for 
the natives of the other islands to land on these reefs, and 
carry off the women for cannibal purposes. I was an eye- 
witness of an attempt of the kind made yesterday after- 
noon. About 4 o'clock, a canoe, manned by three men, 
rounded the southern point off the island, and stood in for the 
reef. The women immediately threw down their nets and 
plunged into the water ; clubs and pieces of coral were then 


thrown at them by their pursuers, and at length two of the 
poor creatures were captured. The canoe, however, soon cap- 
sized ; and, while the men were employed in righting it, the 
two women succeeded in making their escape, for their pursuers 
dared riot to follow them very close into the shore, lest they 
should themselves fall into the hands of the enraged Levukians. 
It is said that the flesh of women is preferred to that of men ; 
and that they consider the arms and thighs the choicest parts. 
This forenoon we received a visit from Tanoa's son, Seruh, 
and his attendant chiefs. He had the same honors paid him 
as were shown to his father. He is between twenty-five and 
thirty years old has regular features and a good figure. His 
behavior was proper enough while in our company ; but I am 
informed by the resident whites that he is exceedingly haughty 
and overbearing towards the natives. He takes advantage of 
his high position to plunder the lower order of chiefs of their 
whales' teeth, muskets, knives, or anything else they may have 
in their possession, which he fancies. Indeed, his eye bespeaks 
a savage, tyrannical heart. He is the eldest of Tanoa's sons 
consequently is the heir to the kingly power. His dress con- 
sisted of the tapa turban, a large whale's tooth, which hung 
pendent on his breast, two armlets made of the leaf of pan- 
danus, resembling light yellow ribbon, and the " Searo," or 
white tapa, which was wound round his waist four or five 
times, leaving one end of it trailing on the deck. His hair 
and beard were jet black, and combed and twisted with great 
care. The Fejee chiefs pay great attention to this part of 
their toilet, and have regular barbers attached to their estab- 
lishments. Seruh had his prophet, or " Ambati," with him, 
who appeared to be a shrewd, intelligent man. The whole 
party seemed delighted with the ship, and made us quite a 


May 21st. We hear that the " Peacock " has succeeded 
in capturing Vendovi. It was effected by seizing his brother 
chiefs, and retaining them on board the ship until he was 
delivered up to Captain Hudson. 

It is very gratifying for us to learn that a messenger arrived 
here this afternoon from Ambou, with permission for the 
Chief Levuka to take the taboo off the cocoa-nut trees. This 
will enable us to procure the fruit in future. The taboo was 
laid on a short time previous to our arrival in the islands, and, 
I am informed, was done out of respect to a high chief, who 
was drowned in the harbor of Rewa. None but chiefs of high 
rank can remove the taboo ; hence the necessity of waiting 
in the present instance for the chiefs of Ambou to give orders 
on the subject. The taboo lasts from two to twelve months 
in the case of chiefs, according to their rank ; for a common 
person, usually about four days. Trees that are tabooed have 
bands of pandanus or cocoa-nut leaves fastened around them, 
and a piece of wood is set up in a small mound of earth near by. 

May 22d. At sunset we sent eleven men to the observa- 
tory, armed with muskets and cutlasses. We were advised 
to take this precautionary step by Whippy and the other 
whites residing on the island, who, of course, are well ac- 
quainted with the character of the natives. They assured us 
that Vendovi's friends were watching for an opportunity to 
avenge themselves upon us ; and if we had any property on 
shore, it could not be too well protected. It is the Fejee cus- 
tom to attack their enemies under cover of night, when it is 
not easy to discover their approach. From what I have seen 
and heard, I think they are the most treacherous and cowardly 
people on the face of the earth. 

May 23d. It is reported here that the greatest excitement 
prevails at Rewa on account of Vendovi's capture. Shotted 


all the guns ; shifted our berth nearer the Observatory, and at 
sunset sent 25 men in charge of Messrs. De Haven and San- 
ford to protect it. We also have Tanoa's son, Seruh, on 
board as a hostage. Signals were concerted with the observa- 
tory in case of an attack, and the battery got ready to give an 
enemy a warm reception. 

May 24th. At an early hour this morning Seruh took his 
departure for Ambou. To-day one of the sailors stationed at 
the Observatory, reported a native for stealing his sheath- 
knife. Levuka immediately had the thief apprehended, and 
sent on board for us to punish. He is now confined in the 
"Brig," but he denies having taken the knife in question; 
yet Levuka wonders that we do not kill him ! 

May 25th. This afternoon the native prisoner alluded to 
in the foregoing remarks, was released from confinement, as 
there was not sufficient proof to establish his guilt. The poor 
fellow's joy amounted well nigh to a phrenzy. He shouted 
and clapped his hands, and then running up to the spar-deck, 
he plunged into the water and swam to the shore. A canoe, 
which arrived a few hours since from Rewa, reports that the 
excitement caused by the capture of Vendovi has entirely sub- 
sided, and a majority of the people considered him a dangerous 
individual, and were glad to have him removed from among 

June 2d. At 1.15 P. M., H. B. M. schooner " Starling," 
tender to the " Sulphur," Captain Belcher, arrived direct 
from Rewa. Her commander, Lieutenant Kellet, informed 
us that the object of his visit was to obtain from us a rudder- 
pintle for the " Sulphur," she having carried away one of 
hers by encountering a coral-rock when going into Rewa. 

Seruh paid us another visit to-day, and brought yams, pigs, 
and other provisions, as a present. 


June 29th. Nothing of much interest has transpired during 
the past four weeks. We have been engaged most of the time 
in surveying the islands and reefs in the vicinity of Ovalau. 
One day some thirty of Tanoa's wives visited the ship ; they 
were rather good-looking and quite young, excepting one. 
She, I should judge, was about fifty years of age, and Whippy 
told me that she was the only one of all the king's wives who 
bore the title of queen. Her attire was like that of the other 
females. She wore the " leeku." She had a profusion of 
shell-ornaments upon her neck and arms, and her body was 
smeared from head to foot with a mixture of oil and turmeric. 
Her hair was dressed in a very grotesque manner, and dyed 
black, white and red its natural hue being gray. 

They made a long visit, and told us that they were coming 
again next day, but, fortunately for us, they scarcely reached 
the shore when they received orders from the old king to 
return to Ambou immediately. Their curiosity was so great 
as to be very annoying after a little while ; they wanted to 
handle and examine everything they saw. 

On the 27th we broke up the Observatory, and proceeded 
to make preparations for going to sea. 

July 3d. We reached Savu-Savu Bay on the Island of 
Venua-levu.* It is a fine sheet of water, affording a number 
of good anchorages ; among others, the one in which we are 
now lying, called by the natives, Waicaina, (harbor of hot- 
springs,) from the circumstance of there being springs of that 
character in its vicinity. It may be described as being a deep 
cove, surrounded by a highly picturesque country, and so well 

* This is one of the largest islands in the Group. It is upwards of a hundred 
miles long, and from thirty to sixty in breadth. Its general character is mountain- 
ous, but the soil is fertile, especially in the valleys. Bread-fruit, cocoa-nut trees, 
and many others affording food for man, are abundant. Yams and taro are the prin- 
cipal crops. 


protected from both sea and wind, that vessels may lie in it at 
all seasons of the year without the least fear of danger. The 
hot-springs alluded to are seven in number two of them issue 
from a rock, which at high tide is overflowed ; the remaining 
five are located in a small valley, and within a few yards of 
the margin of a mountain-stream. The temperature of the 
two first-mentioned springs was 200, that of the five, 210, 
and that of the stream 75. The rock in the neighborhood is 
of a volcanic origin, but there is no smell of sulphur ; the water 
is very clear, and has a brackish, or saline taste. It is a 
common practice for the natives residing about the bay to cook 
their food in those springs, and I was shown one in which 
I was told human flesh had been cooked only a few days be- 
fore. The account the natives give of them is, that they have 
always been in the same state, and that they are the abode of 
a spirit which it would be dangerous to offend, as it might at 
any time destroy the inhabitants by causing the hot waters to 
overflow the island. There is one priest, who pretends to 
have communication with the spirit, and there was a " Booree" 
near by the spring in which their interviews took place. 

The natives also informed us that formerly this part of 
Venua-levu was very populous, but constant dissensions had 
nearly depopulated it. On the top of a hill about two miles 
from the beach were the ruins of a very large Fejee 

At daylight on the 5th, we were again under way, and by 5 
P. M. on the same day, we arrived at Sandal-wood Bay, or 
Mabua, where we found the " Peacock." Sandal-wood Bay is 
a large circular basin open to the sea. The neighboring 
country is not so interesting as that about Savu-Savu Bay, 
and the sandal-wood tree by which it was once covered, has 
become almost extinct. 


The principal town is situated on a river, and was said to 
be the theatre of continual broils between two brothers. It 
contains from sixty to seventy "houses, and is surrounded with 
pallisades formed of trees and other timber, and a ditch. The 
inhabitants were the most docile* we had ever met in the 
group, arid supplied us with plenty of fresh provisions. In 
some of the houses graves were observed, which the white re- 
sidents told us were placed there to protect them from the 

Soon after we let-go the anchor a boat came along-side from 
the " Peacock" bringing Vendovif ; the officer who had charge 
of him informed me that he had acknowledged to Captain 
Hudson his guilt in causing the murder of part of the crew of 
the " Charles Daggett," and admitted that he had held the 
mate by the arms, while the natives killed him with clubs. 
He is about thirty-five years of age, tall and rather slender, and 
has a countenance which belies his, character its expression is 
mild and benevolent. He was placed under the charge of a 
sentry, with orders not to allow any one to speak to him. At 
the same time the master-at-arms was called up, and directed 
to see that he received his meals at the proper hours. 

During the 7th, 8th and 9th, we experienced heavy gales, 
accompanied with a tremendous swell. On the latter day, 
the purser of the squadron reported the salt provisions as run- 
ning short, and recommended a reduction to be made in the 

On the 12th, between the hours of 2 and 3 o'clock P. M. 
we descried a small sail standing in the bay. It proved to 

* This was to have been expected, for their intercourse with the whites has been 
more frequent than that of any other part of the group. It is here that such large 
quantities of sandal- wood have been shipped for the China market. 

f Vendovi was taken to the United States, but soon after his arrival he sickened and 
died in the Navy Hospital at Brooklyn, New York. 


be our launch, which, together with the first cutter in charge 
of Mr. Knox, left the ship a few days previous on surveying 
duties. It was expected that the first cutter would make her 
appearance next, but moment after moment passed away with- 
out our being able to see anything of her. Some, therefore, 
believed that she had capsized during the recent storms, others 
that she had been captured by the natives. At last, the launch 
reached the ship, when it appeared from Mr. Knox's report, 
that the latter opinion was correct. He stated that she got 
on a reef near by Sualib Bay, and while he was endeavoring 
to get her off, the natives came out in great numbers, armed 
with clubs and muskets, and claimed the boat and everything 
in her as their property.* He ordered his party to repel the 
robbers, but soon discovered he was completely in their 
power, as all his ammunition was saturated with salt wa- 
ter. He was, therefore, compelled to leave the cutter in the 
possession of the natives and take refuge on board the launch. 
After Mr. Knox left, the robbers dragged the boat over the 
reef and stripped her of everything. They then appeared to be 
anxiously watching the launch, and even fired their muskets 
at her. Immediately on receiving the report, orders were 
given for several boats to be fitted out from the " Peacock" 
and this ship, with all possible dispatch. About sunset the 
boats were reported to be in readiness, and Captain Wilkes 
accompanied by Captain Hudson, proceeded on board the 
a Flying Fish," and in a few minutes after they all made sail, 
and stood out the harbor. At an early hour next morning 
they reached Sualib Bay. After coming to an anchor, the 
pilot was sent on shore to hold a parley with the natives, and 

* Any canoe or vessel when driven on shore is accounted an offering to the gods. 
All that it contains is considered as belonging to the people of the district where the 
accident happens, 


state to them that if they restored the boat and the things* 
found in her, they would for this time be forgiven. But the 
savages would not even comply with these terms, and Captain 
Wilkes deemed it his duty to chastise them in order that they 
might be convinced that such outrages could no longer be com- 
mitted without receiving punishment. Accordingly, a large 
force, commanded by Captain Hudson, proceeded on shore, 
fired two of their villages, containing from thirty to forty huts 
each, and broke up all the canoes. It is riot known that any 
lives were lost on either side. Indeed, our people had no oc- 
casion to fire a single shot, as the savages proved themselves 
to be arrant cowards ; the moment they saw Captain Hudson 
disembark, they fled in all directions, so that when he reached 
their towns he found them completely deserted. 

When the work of destruction was over, our people returned 
to the beach, launched the captured cutter, and then embarked 
and proceeded on board the schooner. Soon afterward they 
set out to rejoin the ships in Sandal-wood Bay, which they 
accomplished about midnight. 

On the 15th, Captain Wilkes left in the "Flying Fish," 
to take a tour round the islands. Messrs. Alden and Henry 
in the first cutter, and Mr. Underwood in a boat named 
" Leopard," also left the ship on surveying duties. 

July 21st, we performed the last offices to one who lost 
his life by an accident that befell him while he was assisting 
us in our duties ; I allude to Mr. Baxter, mate of the ship 
" Leonidas," of Salem. The particulars are as follows : 
When the " Peacock " arrived at Matawata Bay, she found 
the " Leonidas " there ; and there being a great deal of sur- 

* The value of these things which consisted of the men's clothing, of books, charts, 
and instruments of the officers, sails, water casks, oars, &c., was estimated at $1,500. 
They were never recovered. 


veying to be done, and a number of base lines to be measured 
by sound, she was requested by Captain Hudson to fire her 
guns as signals. The request was complied with, and Mr. 
Baxter acted as gunner. He had fired the first gun, and was 
re-priming for the second, when a spark coming from a part 
of the cylinder which hung in the chamber of the gun, com- 
municated with the powder-horn which he held in his hand, 
and exploded. This communicated with a cylinder weighing 
about two pounds, which he carried in the bosom of -his shirt, 
which also exploded, and burned his breast, stomach and face 
in the most dreadful manner. He was immediately conveyed to 
the " Peacock," where every attention was shown him. On 
her, arrival at this place he was sent on shore, where a com- 
fortable tent was erected for his accommodation. He was 
constantly attended by a surgeon, but to no purpose. After 
forty days and forty nights of the most excruciating suf- 
fering, he expired. He was buried on a point near the 
ships, with a head-stone and suitable epitaph. He was a 
native of France, and in his last moments communicated to 
Doctor Guillou his real name, which was Vincente Pierre 

It is proper to state that the cylinders used on the occasion 
were made of canvas. Had they been flannel, the usual 
material, we presume the accident would not have happened. 

On the 22d, the " Peacock " got under-way, with orders to 
proceed to Matawata Bay. 

On the afternoon of the 28th, Captain Hudson came on 
board ; and at an early hour the following day, we set out to 
join the " Peacock " ; but the wind fell light and baffling, and 
we finally were obliged to anchor again off Naloa Bay, to keep 
from being drifted on the neighboring reef. Naloa Bay is 
remarkable as the spot where the Chevalier Dillon was attacked 


by the natives. Here, also, the " Leonidas " had one of her 
sailors killed by a chief, named Gingi, only a few weeks 
before. The reason he assigned for the act was, that the 
sailor had maltreated him when he was to the islands in a 
previous voyage. We endeavored to seize the murderer, but 
without success. 

We saw some pottery here of an excellent quality, manu- 
factured by the native women. The clay used is of a red 
color, and is obtained in great quantities on the shores of the 
bay. Some of the vessels were very gracefully shaped, and 
had tracings executed upon them by young girls with the fibres 
of a cocoa-nut leaf. The pots are dried in the open air ; and 
for baking them they use a common wood fire, without any 
oven ; but the tenacity of the clay is such, that even without 
baking the pottery is sufficiently strong. The different parts 
are all made separately and afterwards joined ; but this is 
done so well, that it is impossible to discover the joints, 
especially if the vessel has been varnished.* 

About noon next day (29th), we arrived at the place of our 

Matawata is a large town, and situated near the beach. 
The country around it is quite level has but few trees on it, 
and the soil does not appear to be fertile ; but the town is well 
built, and has considerable trade in Biche de Mar and tor- 

The king's name is Tui-Matawata. He is old, and suffers 
very much from the elephantiasis so much so, that he can 
scarcely walk. He has several wives ; among others, one 
called Henrietta, who is a native of Rotuma has a fair com- 
plexion, and is quite good-looking. Our pilot was well 

This varnish consists of the resin of a species of pine, mixed with a decoction 
of the mangrove bark. 


acquainted with her history ; and one day he related to me the 
circumstances under which she came, or rather was forced, to 
marry the old king. She had, while at her native island, 
married a Tahitian who was residing there, and had gone with 
him to Tahiti on a visit. Wishing to return to their home, 
they had taken passage on board of a Salem vessel engaged in 
the Biche de Mar trade. On arriving at Matawata, they 
were invited to land and remain with some of her countrymen, 
man} 7 " of whom were residing there. Unfortunately, the king 
saw her, and took a fancy to her ; and he immediately killed 
and feasted on her husoand, and then compelled her to become 
one of his wives. The pilot added, that she was disgusted with 
the ojd savage, and if she ever had the chance to run away 
from him, she would avail herself of it. 

We found at Matawata a large number of plants which are 
not noticed in any of the botanical works. 

On the 30th of July we commenced to survey the bay. 
Next morning all the signals were found missing, the natives 
having stolen them during the night. As such acts were cal- 
culated to delay our operations, Captain Hudson sent an officer 
to the king to state to him, that if the signals were not re- 
stored by 12 o'clock on the same day, he should be obliged to 
send an armed force on shore to punish the inhabitants. He 
requested the officer to inform Captain Hudson that it was not 
his people who had stolen the flags, but the natives who lived in 
the mountains, and over whom he had no control. We had 
good reasons for doubting his majesty's veracit} 7 , and on re- 
demanding the signals they were brought on board. This 
incident shows how little dependence can be placed on the 
word of a Fejeeian. Indeed, I have been assured that they 
tell a falsehood in preference, when the truth would better 
answer their purpose ; and adroit lying is regarded as an 



accomplishment, and one who is expert at it is sure of a 
friendly reception wherever he goes. When the white resi- 
dents wish to obtain the truth, they invariably request them 
not to tell lies. 

On the 31st, several of our boats returned from the leeward 
Islands, bringing the melancholy intelligence of the murder of 
Messrs. Underwood and Henry by the natives of Malolo. 
We learned by the same boats of the death of one of the 
sailors, named Smith, who was attached to the schooner 
" Tyvity"* as one of her crew. 

The following are the circumstances connected with the 
death of Messrs. Underwood and Henry : 

On the 23d ultimo, Lieutenants Alden and Underwood 
came to anchor on the reef at Malololie, which is connected 
with the large island Malolo, by a coral isthmus, bare at low 
water. Here Mr. Underwood landed alone, and soon encoun- 
tered a boy with an armful of clubs, who, when asked whether 
any provisons could be purchased in the neighborhood, answered, 
"plenty, plenty." Mr. Underwood directed him to lead the 
way to the place he referred to. On the beach they fell in 
with a party of men who were quite as much confused at the 
sight of Mr. Underwood as the boy had been before. At this 
juncture, Lieutenant Alden recalled Mr. Underwood by sig- 
nal, and this, perhaps, prevented an attack on him that after- 
noon. The next morning (July 24th), the " Peacock's" cutter 
joined the other boats. The scarcity of provisions, and the 
distance of the schooner, whose own necessities were also 
pressing, now made it absolutely necessary to obtain supplies 
ashore. The natives pretended to have an abundance of food 
at the village of Malolo-levu, but could not be induced to 

* The schooner belonged to one of the white men residing on Ovolau, and was 
hired to go about tho islands to procure fresh provisions for the squadron. 


transport it across the isthmus, which was impassable for 
boats, except at high-water. While trying to think of some 
way of removing this difficulty, a man, who called himself the 
orator of the town, arrived, and delivered an invitation from 
his chief to go to Malolo-levu, Mid take off a present that had 
been prepared for them on the beach. This story of Fejee 
manufacture, was little credited, but as there was reason to 
believe that provisions might bo purchased from some of the 
natives, and the case was urgent, Mr. Underwood, whose 
boat drew the least water, volunteered to make the attempt. 
Accordingly, in a few minutes he shoved off; but after pulling 
a short distance, observing that he had no one with him who 
could talk with the natives, he returned and asked for a New 
Zealander, named John Sack. Having taken this man, he 
again shoved off and pulled for the beach. Mr. Alden fol- 
lowed as soon as the tide permitted, and Mr. Emmons, after 
taking a round of angles. * Lieutenant Alden lost no time, 
after anchoring off the town, in getting a chief in his boat as a 
hostage for Mr. Underwood's safety. This native early at- 
tempted to escape in a canoe, but Mr. Alden forced him back 
into the boat, and threatened to shoot him if he did so again. 
In the meantime Mr. Underwood continued to barter with the 
natives, and sent off a message to Mr. Alden for muskets and 
powder, which could not be supplied. Mr. Henry now re- 
quested permission to land, and during his absence Mr. Em- 
mons arrived. A second message soon afterwards came from 
Mr. Underwood, requiring another hatchet to effect his pur- 
chase. Lieutenant Alden sent the hatchet, with directions to 
Mr. U., that as the natives did not appear to be willing to 
trade, he should lose no time in coming off in his boat. At 
this moment the hostage jumped overboard, and made for the 
shore in a diagonal line to avoid being shot at. - Mr. Alden 


immediately leveled his gun at him, and ordered him to stop ; 
he slackened his pace for a moment, and then continued to 
retreat, upon which a ball was fired over his head, but none 
at his body, lest it might provoke an attack on Lieutenant 
Underwood. The escape of the hostage was evidently the 
preconcerted signal for an attack on the shore-party. The 
chief immediately gave orders to make fight, by the cry of 
" Turanga," " Turanga." Mr. Underwood was at this mo- 
ment knocked down and wounded in the shoulder with a 
spear, but he recovered from the stunning effects of the blow, 
and killed the native who threw the spear. At the same time 
two other natives seized the musket of a sailor, named Clark, 
and tried to wrest it from him. One of these he stabbed 
in the breast with his sheath-knife, the other Mr. Underwood 
struck on the head with the butt-end of his pistol, upon which 
both relinquished their hold. Lieutenant Underwood now 
ordered the crew to lose no time in regaining the boat, while 
he and Mr. Henry covered their retreat. In this effort he 
killed a native with one of his pistols, and was in the act of 
drawing the second from his belt, when a blow which he re- 
ceived on the head, brought him to the ground almost sense- 
less. Recovering himself he renewed the contest, and killed 
another native, but at length received a cut across the fore- 
head with a pole-axe, which terminated his valuable life. 

In the meantime Mr. Henry had shot one of the natives 
with his pistol-knife, and cut another down with the same 
weapon, but seeing Lieutenant Underwood dead, was hastening 
to the boat, when a missile struck him on the back of the head 
and brought him to the ground. Clark, after shooting the 
man who killed Mr. Underwood, succeeded in regaining the 
boat, but was severely wounded. 

On seeing the attack. Lieutenants Alden and Emmons 


steered for the shore with the boats under their charge. When 
the boats reached the beach, the savages retreated precipi- 
tately in the mangrove bushes, carrying with them their dead 
and wounded. Mr. Alden was among the first who landed, 
and going up to Mr. Underwood he raised his head, and asked 
him if he had anything to communicate through him to his 
poor wife ; but, alas ! he was too far gone to speak. His 
skull was literally smashed to pieces. Some hopes were at 
first entertained that Mr. Henry was yet alive, but when a 
'vein was opened no blood was found to flow. Both bodies had 
been stripped by the natives, and were laying in the sand, 
whence they were conveyed to the boats. Mr. Emmons took 
possession of a canoe that the natives had abandoned, and no 
enemy being now in sight, the boats, with colors half-rnasted 
and union down, sailed across the isthmus and escaped by a pas- 
sage, where they might have been attacked at great advantage. 

The schooner by this time got under-way without suspicion 
of any disaster. The sensation that was excited when the 
boats arrived along-side and exposed to view the mangled 
bodies, can be more easily imagined than described. Captain 
Wilkes, in particular, wept over them like a child. He kissed 
his nephew, Mr. Henry, on the face several times, and then 
turning around to Mr. Underwood, patted him on the breast 
and repeated the words, " Poor fellow." Every attention was 
paid to the wounded and dead, that affection and regard could 

There being no doubt from the reports of all parties pre- 
sent, that this outrage was entirely unprovoked, Captain 
Wilkes determined to inflict the punishment it merited, and 
this, not because he wished to gratify any feelings of revenge, 
but for the sake of saving the lives of other whites who might 
visit the Group after the expedition left. 


According!}^ the first cutters of the " Vincennes " and 
" Peacock," now in charge of Mr. Eld, were dispatched to 
keep guard round the island, and prevent the escape of any of 
the inhabitants, while the schooner got under-way, and pro- 
ceeded to a small island to inter the dead. Here they were 
laid side by side in the same grave. It was a lonely and suit- 
able spot that had been chosen in a shade so dense that scarce 
a ray of the sun could penetrate it. The grave was dug deep 
in the pure white sand, and sufficiently wide for the two 
corpses. Mr. Agate read the funeral service. After the 
graves had been closed, three vollies were fired over them. 
Every precaution was then taken to obliterate all marks that 
might indicate to the odious cannibals, the resting-place of the 
sacred dead. Places remote from the grave were more dis- 
turbed by footsteps and digging than the grave itself, and 
leaves were scattered over a lage space of ground. 

The islet where they repose, is called Henry's island, and 
the cluster to which it belongs bears the name of Under- 
wood's Group. 

A single canoe attempted to leave Malolo during the burial 
of the dead, but was driven back with the loss of one of her 
people. The natives came to the beach in large numbers, 
taunting the boats with the cry of " Lagoini, lagoini papa 
langa ;" in English, " Come on, come on, white men ;" but 
the orders expressly forbade a landing, or any other demon- 
stration which might abate their arrogant confidence. 

About noon the schooner reached her former berth, and 
shortly after the " Porpoise " hove in sight. When she an- 
chored, Mr. Emmons boarded her, and communicated the 
melancholy news to Captain Ringgold. Preparations were 
now commenced in good earnest to punish the savages ; the 
arms were got in good order, the parties duly organized, and 


by 10 A. M. next day the whole of the disposable force of the 
brig and schooner, consisting of eighty men, landed at the 
west side of the island, while the vessels took commanding 
positions off the reef. After landing, the men were formed in 
three divisions, and took up their line of march, the whole 
commanded by Captain Ringgold. On arriving at the princi- 
pal town, they found it to be of a large size, well fortified with 
strong posts, driven into the ground close together, and the 
intervening spaces filled up with a kind of wicker-work, and 
the whole surrounded by a deep ditch, filled with water. 

When within a few yards of the entrance, which was a small 
low gate, scarcely large enough to admit one person, the prin- 
cipal chief came out, and made the following taunting speech : 
" Come on ; I and my people are ready for you ; Fejee men 
are good to eat, but white men are better, and intend this 
night to have some of you for supper. Fejee men like to eat 
white men ; we are glad to see you ; yes, we are glad to see 
you." He then rallied his men, and ordered them to fire at 
our people from behind the fortifications. 

Captain Ringgold now made a signal for two of the divisions, 
which had been sent to destroy the yam-patches, and cut 
down the cocoa-nut trees, to join him, which they did with 
great alacrity. He then formed the whole in one line, and 
marched up to the intrenchments, under a heavy shower of 
spears and arms. He next directed several rockets to be set 
off in hopes of firing the town, and thus compel the savages to 
abandon their intrenchments ; but this did not produce the 
desired effect, and he therefore opened his fire upon the forti- 
fication. Now was seen what many of those present had not 
before believed, the expertness with which these people dodge 
a shot at the flash of a gun ; still our men took plenty of time 
in firing, and the number of killed and wounded of the enemy 


was immense. Upwards of twenty were seen to fall at the 
first volley. In this manner was the contest kept up until the 
principal chief was shot dead, a circumstance, which, together 
with the half-burned state of the town for the rockets even- 
tually set a large hut on fire spread a great panic among 
them, and they fled through a gate, which was intentionally 
left unattacked, carrying their dead and wounded on their 
backs. At this moment a volley of musketry might have 
greatly increased the destruction of lives ; but as women and 
children could be distinguished amid the throng of fugitives, 
the order was given to cease firing, and they were allowed to 

Our people now marched into the town, and threw upon 
the flames whatever they found that might be valuable to 
the enemy. This involved the destruction of the whole 
wealth of the island, which had been centered here on ac- 
count of its great strength. This fact serves to show that 
the savages were not ignorant of the consequences that were 
likely to follow their foul deed, and had made timely prepara- 
tions for defending themselves. 

Several things that had belonged to Mr. Underwood were 
seen among the ruins. A little child, who seemed to have lost 
its parents, and whom our people endeavored to avoid shooting 
during the conflict, was burned to death in one of the houses. 
The dead that the natives had been obliged to leave behind, 
were all found shot through the head. Many ]&y beside a 
mound which had been but recently raised for additional 

While Captain Ringgold and party were thus employed on 
shore, Captain Wilkes and Messrs. Alden and Emmons were 
not less active on the water. Scarcely had the action com- 
menced with the town, when two large canoes were seen stand- 


ing over from Vita Leva. Immediately the signal to intercept 
them was made, and Mr. Emmoris reached them first, and 
made signs to them to heave-to ; but they stood on their course 
to Malolo. Upon this Mr. Eminons announced his intention 
to destroy them. Several were killed at the first fire, arid the 
rest jumped overboard and made for the shore. Mr. Einmons 
continued to fire at the fugitives until he fell in with Captain 
Wilkes, who directed him to spare the lives of the survivors, 
but make them prisoners. Lieutenant Emmons had already 
rescued a little child, and now attempted to save its mother. 
This woman had at first been taken for a man, and fired upon 
from Captain Wilkes's boat, but when the error was dis- 
covered they ceased firing, and hastened to her rescue. In 
her alarm, however, she mistook the design, and continually 
dived to avoid the boat, so that they were obliged to abandon 
her, and she swam towards Vita Leva, ten miles distant. 
We heard afterwards that she had safely arrived there. The 
other prisoners taken by the boats were the head-chief's wife, 
two girls, each about sixteen years of age, and a boy about five 
years old. After taking the prisoners to the brig, where they 
were kindly treated by both officers and sailors, all the boats 
proceeded to the leeward part of the island to destroy another 
town. When they had almost reached the place, the shore- 
party hailed, and informed them that five canoes had been 
seen to put off from the western side of the island. Mr. 
Emmons was forthwith dispatched after them, while the other 
boats remained to destroy the town, which they speedily ac- 

After a very long and fatiguing pull, Mr. Eminons overtook 
the fugitives. They were at first some distance apart, but as 
he approached them they closed their line, and stood ready for 
an attack. Their numbers were partly concealed behind a 


breastwork of baskets, filled with roots, which they had thrown 
up for the occasion. Mr. Einrnons wished to pull to wind- 
ward to avail himself of a light breeze, but he had only got a 
few yards off when some of the canoes appeared disposed to 
commence the attack, and executed a manoeuvre by which 
they expected to get his boat on the reef when she might be 
carried by boarding. But Mr. Emmons brought his blunder- 
buss to bear upon the natives, and ordered them to change 
their course, which, strange to say, they had the folly to do. 
Being now where there was plenty of water, Lieutenant Em- 
mons opened fire upon the canoes. Large numbers were 
killed and wounded, and the rest leaped overboard. During 
the pursuit which followed, several of the fugitives gained a 
canoe which had drifted out from the shore, and put off to 
seaward, passing over a reef upon which there was not suffi- 
cient water for the boat to float. Three of the captured 
canoes were cleared of their " lumber," and taken along-side 
the "Porpoise." The fourth being badly stove, was left on 
the reef until next morning, when she was also secured. 

Subsequent investigation confirmed the opinion, that these 
canoes had left the island with the express intention of cut- 
ting off Mr. Emmons. Their known loss was twenty-seven 
men ; but there is good reason to believe that it was much 
greater. Our own party had the good fortune to escape with 
a few slight wounds. 

It was Captain Wilkes's intention to renew the attack 
next day, (27th,) but early in the morning one of the women 
who had been liberated the preceding day, came down to the 
beach, and begged for mercy to the survivors, describing in 
moving terms the misery to which they had been reduced. 

Captain Wilkes told her to return to those who sent her, 
and state that he would not listen to the mediation of .women ; 


but a little -while after he dispatched two boys, who had been 
captured by Mr. Emmons, to order all the people on the 
island to assemble by noon oh a certain hill, and receive our 
terms. The prisoners were directed to add, that, if the order 
was not obeyed, hostilities would be renewed. At 11 A. M. 
the whole party of men who had been on shore the previous 
day landed, and formed into a hallow- square, to await the ap- 
proach of the natives ; but none appeared. Twelve o'clock 
arrived, and they still kept away. At last they began to 
appear, moving slowly on their hands and knees, and filling 
the air with their waitings. 

When yet a considerable distance off they halted, and sent 
messengers to say that they were afraid to approach nearer ; 
but the messenger was ordered to tell them that they must do 
as they had been directed in the morning. On receiving this 
answer, they resumed their wailings, and at the same time 
moved towards the hill. Every now and then they would stop 
and raising their faces from the ground send up a piteous cry. 
In this way did they manage, until at last they reached the 
"spot where Captain Wilkes was standing, when they threw 
themselves at his feet. 

After a minute or two, one of their old men began in a tone 
of the deepest humility to supplicate forgiveness, and to promise 
that the people of Malolo would never again kill white "man. 
He added, that they acknowledged themselves conquered and 
that the island belonged to us ; that they had lost everything ; 
that the two great chiefs of the island and all their best war- 
riors had been killed ; all their provisions destroyed, and their 
houses burned ; that they were now convinced that the white 
men were better warriors than the Fejee men. During the 
whole time he was speaking, all the others remained bent down 
with their heads touching the ground. 


They were asked many questions, and among others, what had 
induced them to commit the murder. They admitted that Lieut. 
Underwood and Mr. Henry had done nothing to offend them, 
and that they had been killed without the slightest cause. 

Captain Wilkes now told them that he would grant them 
pardon, but they must supply the 'squadron with water and 
provisions ; with which conditions they agreed to comply. 

The next day they appeared on the beach and fulfilled their 
agreement. This was according to their custom, that the 
conquered should work for the victors. They acknowledged 
their loss to be about one hundred persons ; we did not lose in 
the combat, a single life, and only very few wei'e wounded. 
These wounds were inflicted with spears and arrows, for their 
fire-arms were rendered harmless by being over-charged. It 
is said to be their practice to put charges into them according 
to the size of the person they intend to fire at ; they almost fill 
tlie barrel with powder when they shoot at a large man. 

Thus ended this affair, an awful and a severe lesson to the 
savages, but not more so than they deserved. It must be re- 
membered that the murderers were looked upon by their 
own countrymen as a set of pirates. I think it would be a 
blessing to the whole race if the United States or some other 
civilized nation would conquer them into subjection and order. 
It would at once put an end to their dissensions and barbari- 
ties, and afford encouragement to commerce and safety to per- 
son and property. 

The moment Captain Hudson received intelligence of the 
melancholy disaster, he directed the ship's colors to be half- 
masted, and issued the following order : 

" Information having been received from the commander of 
the expedition, of the death of Lieutenant Joseph A. Under- 


wood and Midshipman Wilkes Henry, on the 12th instant, 
who were treacherously murdered by the natives of Malolo, 
one of the Fejee Islands, the officers of the United States 
ships " Vincennes " and " Peacock " will wear the usual 
badge of mourning for thirty days, as a testimony of regard 
for the memory of their departed brother officers, who have 
been suddenly cut off from their sphere of usefulness in the 
expedition, while arduously engaged in the performance of 
their public duty. 

(Signed) " WILLIAM L. HUDSON, 

" Commanding U. S. Ship ' Peacock.' 
" Fejee Islands." 

On the 2d of August, the whale-ship u Triton," fifteen 
months from the United States, arrived ; as also the schooner 
" Tyvity," with three thousand yams. The latter likewise 
brought as passengers, the second-mate and cooper of the 
American whale-ship " Shylock," which was lost on a reef* 
off Turtle Island, a few weeks since. It appears from their 
account that the loss of this fine ship is to be attributed to the 
negligence of the man who had the " look-out " forward at 
the time the accident occurred. They charge him of going to 
sleep, and not knowing the danger the ship was in until she 
had struck. 

The captain and the first-mate have proceeded to Hohart 
Town in an English brig. The second-mate has shipped on 
board the " Triton," and is said to have behaved in the most 
shameful manner, refusing to assist the surviving sufferers, 

* The position of this reef was afterwards determined by the brig " Porpoise." It 
lies in latitude 19 48' 00" south, and longitude 178" 35' 00" west. The reef is six-and- 
a-half miles long, and has an illiptical form. Turtle Island is about nine miles in cir- 
cumference, and has a few inhabitants, whose manners and customs are similar to 
those of the Tonga people. 


and left them on the wreck, exposed to the cruelties of the 

August 7th, the " Porpoise" came in and anchored. She 
left Ovalau on the 4th instant. Captain Wilkes was there 
in the " Flying Fish," and was to follow the brig in a few 
da} 7 s. 

During the afternoon of the 8th, a meeting was held on 
board the " Peacock," when Captain Hudson was called to 
the chair, and Lieutenant R. E. Johnson appointed secretary. 
The chair announced that the object of the meeting was .to 
obtain a joint expression of feeling in relation to the death of 
Lieutenant Joseph A. Underwood and Midshipman Wilkes 
Henry, who, on the 24th day of July last, were treacherously 
killed by the natives of Malolo. 

On motion, a committee, consisting of Lieut. Johnson, Dr. 
J. C. Palmer, Mr. William Rich (botanist), Passed Midship- 
man Blunt, and Midshipman Blair, were appointed to draft 
resolutions befitting this melancholy occasion. 

The committee retired, in obedience to their instructions ; 
and after a short recess, the meeting was called to order 
again, and the chairman of the committee reported the follow- 
ing resolutions, which were unanimously adopted : 

RESOLVED, That amid the toils and dangers which the 
officers of this expedition have been called upon to encounter, 
they could have incurred no deeper calamity than the untimely 
;death of their beloved coadjutors, Lieutenant Joseph A. Under- 
wood and Midshipman Wilkes Henry. 

. RESOLVED, That the loss of these gentlemen is most deeply 
mourned, not only on account of their personal worth, but 
from our sincere interest in the expedition, which has been 
deprived of two of its most efficient officers. 

RESOLVED, That the energetic and persevering manner* in 


which the lamented dead performed all duties, however 
arduous, afford an example worthy our emulation ; and that 
the strongest terms of sympathy with their friends at home 
are inadequate to the expression of our regret. 

RESOLVED, That, as a mark of affection and respect for 
our lost associates, we cause a monument, designed among 
ourselves, to be erected to their memory in the cemetery at 
Mount Auburn. 

RESOLVED, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted 
to the bereaved relatives of Lieutenant Underwood and Mid- 
shipman Henry. 

It was further resolved, that a committee of nine persons 
be appointed to carry the foregoing resolutions into effect; 
and that this committee consist of the following gentlemen, to 
wit : Captain William L. Hudson, Lieut. James Alden, 
Lieut. H. L. Case, Dr. J. C. Palmer, Mr. T. R. Peal, (orni- 
thologist), Passed Midshipman S. F. Blunt, Purser Wm. 
Speiden, Midshipman George W. Clark, Midshipman J. L. 

It was next moved and resolved, that the sum of two thou- 
sand dollars be appropriated for the erection of the monument ; 
and that the pursers of the expedition be authorized to charge 
the said sum to the officers and scientific corps, in proportion 
to the rate of their several salaries. 

The subject of an inscription was referred to a future 
meeting, and the committee were instructed to select a model 
from the designs which they might hereafter receive. 

The meeting then adjourned. 

On the 9th of August, the " Flying Fish " arrived, and 
Captain Wilkes rejoined the " Vincerines." 

Next day, it being Sunday, the chaplain of the squadron 
delivered a sermon on the death of Messrs. Underwood 


and Henry. The following portions of it may be interest- 

Lieutenant Joseph A. Underwood, was born July 15th, 
1811. He entered the Navy of the United States in 1829, 
and since that time had been almost constantly employed in 
active service. He was one of the officers earliest attached to 
the expedition in which we are embarked, and had been nearly 
four years connected with it, at the time of his decease. With 
some of you, he encountered the dangers and hardships inci- 
dent to a passage round the stormy Cape and of Noir Island ; 
saw and endured with manly exposure the more appalling 
prospect that tried men's souls. For a year previous to his 
death, with us who survive, he shared the risks in the ship, in 
the boat, and on shore, peculiar to a passage among the reefs 
and islets that thickly stud this southern sea. With health 
unbroken, he sustained the blighting heat and piercing cold of 
the torrid and the frigid zones, as we passed rapidly from 
clime to clime. He bore unmoved, the arduous toils, priva- 
tions, and perils of our southern cruise, when, amid the ice- 
islands of the Polar Ocean, we threaded our devious and 
often dangerous way. With us he visited these barbarous 
islands, and had been repeatedly engaged in the arduous and 
perilous duty in which he met his melancholy and untimely 
fate. Our lamented friend had been married but a few weeks, 
when he left his native land, and had completed his twenty- 
ninth year, only two days previous to his leaving the ship for 
the last time. While I recognize the charitable sentiment 
" Nought of the dead, but good," I am happy to assure you, 
that in relation to our departed friends, it will be in perfect' 
accordance with that sentiment to say, " Nought of the dead 
but truth." With the 'Roman orator, I can say, I come to 
bury our fallen friends, not to praise them. And if a year's 


acquaintance can give me an opportunity to judge, I can tes- 
tify to his amiability and worth. His deportment was distin- 
guished by a studious regard to propriety and decorum, and in 
his conversation and conduct, he respected the feelings and 
sentiments of those with whom he was associated. His man- 
ners and address were those of an accomplished gentleman. 
There was no affected distance or reserve, or any manifest 
consciousness of superior understanding. His politeness was 
not merely external, but that of the heart. In his intercourse 
with men of every condition, his conduct was dictated by 
benevolence and regulated by that great law of moral equity, 
" To do unto others as you would wish them do unto you," and 
in all that intercourse his intentions were just, kind, generous 
and noble. In forming his opinions he was independent in 
maintaining them he was firm. " Decision of character was 
in- wrought in the very texture of his mind." He was afraid 
of no man. When he had assumed a position, dictated by wis- 
dom and prudence, he maintained it unawed by any opposition 
which might be brought against him. His temperament was 
ardent, but under discipline ; of that kindness and principle 
which led him to respect the feelings and prejudices of others, 
it had been chastened, and subdued. In the performance of 
any duty, he was remarkable for untiring diligence, and un- 
ceasing perseverance. In a highly creditable knowledge of his 
profession he added various collateral attainments and polite 
accomplishments. His acquaintance with pure mathematics, as 
applicable to astronomy, navigation, and surveying, was known 
to you all. He was familiar with several of the modern lan- 
guages of Europe ; and who has not seen the chaste, beautiful 
and faithful productions of his pencil, with which his portfolio 
was enriched ? In regard to his intellectual character, he pos- 
sessed a mind of the first order. His conceptions were clear, 


concise and vivid ; his judgment was remarkably correct ; he 
reasoned with calm deliberation, and examined a subject with 
a prodigious grasp of mind in all extensive bearings. If it 
embraced numerous and various particulars, he directed his 
attention to each, and suspended his decision until he had ex- 
amined them all. 

Having thus with a well-balanced mind looked through a 
subject, he rarely had occasion to retrace his steps, or renounce 
the conclusions to which he had arrived. A correct and 
refined taste enabled him to see and appreciate whatever 
was sublime, and beautiful in art or nature ; and his memory 
retained with fidelity that rich variety of facts and sentiments 
which his reading and observation had committed to its charge. 
Such, my hearers, were some of the principal traits which dis- 
tinguished the character of our lamented companion and friend. 
With his immediate relations I had not the happiness of being 
acquainted ; but from all I can learn, he was a dutiful and 
grateful son, a kind brother, and a faithful and affectionate 
husband to the now widowed partner of his bosom. 

I have thus briefly and imperfectly touched upon the cha- 
racter of the lamented Underwood. 

It only remains to say of the much-loved companion 
of his untimely fate, that many of the traits which Under- 
wood possessed, belonged to Henry, with a due reference 
between them in age and experience in the service. The 
loved and lost Henry the cherished object of affection of 
his widowed mother was deservedly dear to us all. He 
was a youth, manly beyond his years. He possessed in 
an eminent degree, that propriety and dignity of demeanor 
which commanded the respect of all his inferiors, and won and 
retained the esteem and confidence of his superiors and asso- 
ciates. He was distinguished for zeal and devotedness to the 


service, disinterestedness, fortitude and courage a varied 
combination of excellencies which rendered him an honor to 
his profession, and afforded high hopes of future distinction. 
His memory is precious, and will not be forgotten ; and to you, 
the junior officers of the squadron, so lately his youthful com- 
panions and compeers, I would say, embalm his excellencies 
of character by imitating them in your lives ; and if you have 
not chosen a better maxim for your guidance through life, 
take this from one who loves you all " Dare always to do 
right, and only dread to sin against God." 

On the llth of August, at an early hour, we bade adieu to 
the Fejee Islands, and stood for Honolulu. 




THE Fejee Group is composed of one hundred and fifty-five 
islands, of which number one hundred are uninhabitable, on 
account of their sterility and want of water ; the remaining 
number possess an excellent soil, and abound in mountain 
streams for the islands are of a mountainous character, 
some of the peaks having an altitude of nearly five thousand 
feet. The valleys are beautiful, and in some places well cul- 
tivated. Yams and dry taro are the principal crops ; sugar- 
cane grows spontaneously and of an excellent quality. The 
natives do not make sugar, but manufacture large quantities 
of molasses, and they use the 1 leaf of the plant to cover the 
roofs of their houses. 

The principal towns are Rewa and jVmbou, situated on' the 
east side of Vitilevu ; they contain about four thousand inhab- 
itants each, and, as I have before observed, the latter is the 
residence of King Tanoa, the most powerful chief in the group. 

The climate, though warm, is pleasant and salubrious. 
During our long stay at Ovalaou, we experienced very little 
rainy weather. The mean temperature on board the ship was 
76. The population, according to the best information ob- 
tainable at this time, is about one hundred and twenty thou- 
sand. It is utterly impossible to have precise data on this 
subject, for the white men residing in the group, have not had 
access to all the islands, nor can we depend on native inform- 


ation as each chief is anxious to swell the number of his 
fighting men. They are evidently a distinct race from the 
rest of the Polynesians. They are of a color almost black, 
while their hair is frizzled or crisped, though not so much so as 
the Africans ; the nose is broad and flat, and the eyes are jet 
black, and have a wild, restless expression. They are person- 
ally well-formed, muscular, and of good size. The men have 
a custom of bedaubing their faces and bodies with a mixture of 
lamp-black and cocoa-nut oil, which gives them a disgusting 

In character, they are cruel, deceitful, passionate, and 
treacherous. We had repeated proofs of the latter in their 
various attempts to surprise and cut off our boats, while em- 
ployed in surveying duties. Another universal trait in their 
character is covetousness, and is the incentive to stealing, and 
many other odious acts. They are also great cannibals ; indeed, 
they carry this revolting practice to a greater extent than any 
other savages yet known to the civilized world. The bodies of 
enemies slain in battle do not satisfy their appetite for it. Vio- 
lence, stratagem, and sacrifices to the gods, are resorted to 
for this horrible purpose. The chiefs are fond of giving en- 
tertainments, and, on such occasions, human flesh, either 
roasted or boiled, is handed round to the guest. When a new 
spirit-house is built, several human beings are slaughtered, 
and the bodies eaten by the Abati, or priest, and his friends. 

The usual dress of the men consists of the maro, and of the 
women, a sort of apron or girdle about eighteen inches in 
width. Children of both sexes, until they arrive at the age of 
puberty, go entirely naked. Women only are tattooed the 
operation is performed by persons of their own sex and the 
parts thus ornamented are those concealed by the dress, and 
sometimes the lips and fingers. The women firmly believe 


that to be tattooed is a passport to the world of spirits, so much 
so, that if a girl dies before the operation is performed, they 
paint a semblance of it, by which means they expect to deceive 
the gods. 

It is the custom for grown persons of both sexes to powder 
their hair with the soot collected from the smoke of the wood 
called " tooi-tooi," or else with lime. In using either of these 
substances they diffuse it plentifully in a large calabash of 
water, in which they dip their heads frequently. When they 
have got on a sufficient quantity, they place themselves before 
a mirror, and with a sort of comb and a stick about twelve 
inches long, and pointed at both ends, they work the hair 
up, until it has acquired the size and appearance of an im- 
mense peruke. The natural color of their hair is black, but 
by the use of lime and carbon and other coloring matter, they 
make all the various shades between black and red ; many of 
which colors, in numerous instances, decorate the same head. 
Some are white in front, black behind, and red on the sides. 
Those who have been deprived of their hair by nature or acci- 
dent, supply the defect by wigs, which are so skillfully made as 
scarcely to be distinguishable from the genuine natural growth. 

They eat with their fingers ; and in serving up their food, 
they always sweep off the mats or lay down new ones, placing 
the victuals upon fresh leaves. They take their principal 
meal in the evening, over which they spend much time. In 
drinking, they throw their heads back, hold the vessel six or 
eight inches from the lips, and allow the water to run into the 
mouth, as if from a spout. The white residents speak highly 
of the cooking, and say, they have seen at the feast given by 
the chiefs from twenty to thirty different sorts of dishes. 

Their language is copious and pleasing to the ear. The 
missionaries are endeavoring to reduce it to writing. It fur- 


nishes words for expressing every emotion of the mind. They 
have also distinctive names for all the plants, trees, and other 
subjects of the vegetable kingdom that grow under their 
climate. The language aifords various forms of salutation, 
according to the rank of the parties. When the common 
people approach a " duowa turanga," or a chief, they cry out, 
" Duowa," to which the chief replies, " Wa." If the chief is 
on his route, they turn out of his path, squat ,on their haunches, 
and lower their clubs to the ground. Women make their 
salutations in words different from those employed by the 
men. . They have also forms of expression equivalent to 
our " No, sir," and " Yes, sir." 

Their mode of sending messages is peculiar : The messen- 
ger is furnished with as many sticks or reeds as the message 
contains separate subjects. The sticks are of various lengths, 
in order to distinguish them from each other. When the 
messenger arrives at his destination, he delivers the reeds 
successively, and with each of them repeats the purport of the 
message of which it is a memorial. The reply is conveyed 
after the same manner. 

Women are treated as inferior beings ; they are prohibited 
from entering the spirit-houses or eating human flesh. The 
girls of the lower classes of a tribe, are entirely at the disposal 
of the chief, who may sell them to transient strangers, or do 
anything else with them he pleases. Wives, besides taking 
care of their children, and doing the work about the house, 
are obliged to assist the men in cultivating the soil ; if they 
misbehave they are tied to a tree and flogged. 

At the age of fourteen, boys undergo the operation of cir- 
cumcision, which is performed after the manner of the Jews. 
Young girls allow their hair to grow in long locks, and usually 
decorate them with flowers of various colors. They are also 


fond of painting their noses and cheeks with vermilion. 
After marriage the curls are cut off, and the hair is kept short 
and frizzled. 

Polygamy, in its greatest extent, is practised some of the 
chiefs having from ten to one hundred wives. The woman, 
however, who is of the best family is always looked upon as 
the principal wife all the others being required to yield im- 
plicit obedience to her. The daughters of chiefs are usually 
betrothed early in life. If the betrothed husband dies before 
the girl grows up, the next brother takes his place. The 
partie's may be frequently seen walking arm-in-arm after they 
are engaged. Among the lower classes, however, marriages 
are mere matters of bargain, and wives are looked upon as 
property. The usual price is a musket or a whale's tooth. 
If detected in infidelity, they may be killed by the husband, 
or sold into slavery; but I was told that Fejee wives are 
generally faithful. On the death of the husband, his favorite 
wives are strangled and buried with him in a common grave.* 

When a member of a family is dangerously ill, one or more 
of the other members cut off his little finger as a sacrifice to 
the gods for his recovery ; if the sick person is afflicted with a 
lingering disease, his relatives kill him, that he may escape all 

* We learn that among the Fejee Islanders, the chiefs have from twenty to a hundred 
wives, according to their rank, and at the interment of a principal chief, the body is 
laid in state upon a spacious lawn in the presence of an immense concourse of specta- 
tors. The principal wife, after the utmost ingenuity of the natives has been exercised 
in adorning her person, then walks out, and takes her seat near the body of her hus- 
band, when a rope is passed round her neck, which eight or ten powerful men pull 
with all their strength, until she is strangled and dies. Her body is then laid by that 
of the chief. This done, a second wife comes out and seats herself in the same place. 
The process is repeated, and she also dies. A third and a fourth become voluntary 
sacrifices in the same manner, and all of them are then interred in a common grave 
one above, one below, and one on either side of the husband. The reasons assigned 
for this are, that the spirit of the chief may not be lonely in its passage to the invisible 
world, and that by such an offering, its happiness may be at once secured. 

Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands. 


further misery. The little finger is also often cut off on the 
death of a great chief. The usual symbol of mourning for men 
is short hair or beard they seldom cut both. The women burn 
themselves to blisters on the neck and breast ; this is done 
by holding a piece of ignited tapa over the part to be burned. 
Funerals among the higher classes are invariably followed by 
feasts and ava-drinking. 

The government is decidedly despotic. The will of the 
chief is the law, and instant death- would be dealt out to any 
one found opposing it. The common people are looked upon 
as slaves, and may be sold and destroyed by their masters 
without remonstrance or appeal. The victims offered as sacri- 
fices to the gods are generally selected from this class. They 
are also slaughtered in great numbers when a great chief dies, 
in respect to him. 

Their religious creed* is in substance as follows : That 
there is one Great Spirit who sees and knows all things, and 
who has the power of dispensing good and evil to mankind, 
according to their merits ; that there are many other spirits 
besides who have the same power, but not in so great a 
degree ; that dogs, cats, guns, stones, trees, canoes, rivers 
in fact, everything has a soul as well as man ; that certain 
persons are inspired ; that there are no future rewards and 
punishments, but that punishment for crime will be received 
in this world only, and the future is one of perfect and eternal 
happiness. They also firmly believe that omens are indica- 
tions from the gods themselves to man, and spells and charms 
are effective means of getting the gods to accord to the wishes 
of the maledictor. The priests are called " Ambatis," and 
exercise great influence over the lower classes. They are 

* There are missionaries residing* at Rewa and Somu Tomou, but as yet they have 
made no converts. 


generally companions of the chiefs, and are present at all the 
feasts and ava-drinking. One of the principal duties of a 
priest is to perform the marriage ceremony. 

Their account of the origin of the races is this : All man- 
kind, say they, sprung from one father and mother. The 
Fejee was first born, but acted wickedly, and was black ; the 
Tonga was next born he acted better than the Fejee was 
whiter, and had some clothes given him ; white man came 
last he behaved well was liked by the Great Spirit, who 
made him white like himself, and gave him clothes and every- 
thing he could desire. 

During our stay at Ovalaou, I witnessed the performance of 
two dances. On both occasions the men and women danced 
together. They kept time to a monotonous chant, in which 
they all occasionally joined ; their motions were stiff and in- 
elegant. Both boys and girls are instructed in the dance by 
masters and mistresses. 

Their knowledge of medicine is limited to a few plants and 
the bark of two or three kinds of trees. In surgery they are 
more skillful. The most common surgical operation among 
them is that of blood-letting, and is performed by making a 
small incision with a shell or a knife in various parts of the 
body for the relief of pain, inflamed tumors, &c., &c. By 
the same means they open abscesses and ulcers. They also 
cut off their toes to cure sores in the legs, elephantiasis, and 
leprosy. In cases of hard tumors, they apply hot bread-fruit, 
so as to produce a blister, and ultimately a purelent surface. 
In cases of sprains they rub the part afflicted with the dry 
hand, or with a mixture of oil and water. Of gun-shot wounds 
they lay the wound open that they may be able to extract the 
ball, should it still remain. Midwifery is a distinct profession, 
exercised by females only, and they are said to be ver}^ skillful. 


Their arms consist of clubs, spears, bows and arrows. 
There are two kinds of clubs one kind .about four feet Ions;, 
and five or six inches in circumference ; the other about 
eighteen inches long, and fashioned like a drum-stick. The 
latter sort are intended for throwing, and are said to be a very 
formidable weapon. Every man is furnished with two of 
these when he goes into battle ; some of them are beautifully 

Their manufactures are mats, tapa, baskets, &c. This is 
exclusively the work of women. The tapa is made, as at the 
other islands, from the Chinese mulberry, and by a similar 
process. They make some that is very neatly and tastefully 
printed. On several of the islands they also manufacture large 
quantities of pottery ; they make it into pots, jugs and lamps, 
and it appears to be of as good quality as that which is manufac- 
tured for common use at home. The men have the reputation 
of being the best native mechanics in the South Seas. Their 
canoes are constructed with much judgment and ingenuity ; I 
saw some that were upwards of one hundred feet in length, and 
proportionally wide. The double-canoes are capable of carry- 
ing from one hundred to two hundred men each. 

As they are unacquainted with the use of money, they 
barter commodities chiefly for muskets, powder, whales' teeth, 
cotton cloths, hatchets, knives, scissors, razors, glass bottles, 
and red paint. Among themselves, mats and tapa-cloth form 
the principal currency and personal property. They wear the 
whales' teeth around their necks as ornaments, which are 
highly prized. 

The foreign trade with these islands is much more limited 
than it was some twenty years ago. Sandal-wood is now 
exhausted, or only found in small quantities ; .tortoise-shell is 
so scarce as to be of small account, and tliese, with the smaller 


articles, such as clubs, spears, mats, and shells, are mostly 
picked up by the white residents on speculation and sent to 
Sydney, New South Wales, from whence they are forwarded 
to England, and sold as native curiosities. The merchant- 
traders, therefore, are confined chiefly to the article of bech- 
de-mar, which is still found in considerable quantities, and is 
in great demand in the China market. 

The general character of the Fejee Islanders may be 
gathered from the preceding remarks. The dark side of the 
picture presents them as unprincipled, cruel, rapacious, defi- 
cient in courage as well as in human feelings, and indifferent to 
the commission of crime. This melancholy catalogue of vices 
arises from the disadvantages in point of religion, of govern- 
ment, and the general structure of society, under which they 
live. There is no doubt that under a better form of govern- 
ment they would become quite a different people. 

The resident missionaries represent them as being, in point 
of natural abilities, superior to any of the other Polynesians. 




SEPTEMBER 30th. About noon this day, we made the 
Island of Oahoo ; and by 5 P. M., came-to in the roads off 
of the town of Honolulu. Soon after, we communicated with 
the shore, and had the satisfaction of receiving letters from 
our friends at home. 

The appearance of Oahoo, when viewed from the roads, is 
by no means inviting. The plain on which the town stands is 
almost treeless, while the mountains to the eastward are a mass 
of naked rock. These mountains are composed of basalt and 
tufa ; and, doubtless, what is termed by the foreign residents 
the " Devil's Punch Bowl," was once a volcan/p crater, vomit- 
ing forth the strong entrails of the nether world. 

Early in the following morning, we hove-up the anchor, and 
towed the ship to a berth in the harbor, where we found about 
a dozen other vessels, mostly American, and engaged in the 
whale-fishery. The channel is narrow and tortuous, but the 
harbor is perfectly secure and convenient. Vessels of four 
to five hundred tons can lay along-side any of the wharves, 
and discharge or receive their cargoes. It is defended by a 
fort mounting some twenty guns. 

At 10 A. M., our Consul, P. A. .Brinsmade, Esq., visited 

* These islands were discovered by the celebrated Captain Cook, who named them 
after Lord Sandwich, the then Lord of the Admiralty. There are nine in number, 
and bear the following native names -.Hawaii, Oahoo, Maui, Kauai. Molokai, Lanai, 
Hamakua, Kakoolawe, and Niihau. 


the ship, and in the course of the afternoon, many of the 
foreign residents ; and among others the English and French 

October 2d. To-day I visited ' the town. It is regularly 
laid out in streets, and contains many houses built in the 
European style. It also contains several churches and two 
hotels. The natives' houses are well adapted to the climate, 
and are pleasant, convenient residences some cover a great 
extent of ground ; there is a small yard before each, inclosed 
by a wall built of adobes. The houses belonging to the better 
classes have their floors covered with mats, and are furnished 
with chairs, beds and curtains. 

The king's palace stands facing the harbor, and has an air 
of snugness and comfort rather than elegance. It is a single- 
story building, constructed of wood, and painted white. Seve- 
ral of the stores owned by foreign residents are large and 
appeared to be doing good business ; indeed, Honolulu is the 
New York of the group. The merchants of the other islands 
come here to purchase their goods. The population is esti- 
mated at 7,000. 

The natives have healthy, athletic forms, and in complexion 
are a shade darker than the Tahitians. They have made 
much greater progress in civilization than any of the Poly- 
nesian nations. They are well acquainted with weights and 
measures, and the value which all articles ought to bear in 
exchange with each other. Their currency is gold and silver. 
The chiefs are well clothed in the European style ; but the 
masses are not more than half-dressed, and some still wear 
nothing but the maro. The apparel of the women consists of 
a long loose-gown, made of calico, and a fancy-colored silk 
handkerchief, thrown over the neck and shoulders. Most of 
the old people of both sexes have from one to three of their 


front teeth knocked out. This seems to have been an old 
religious custom, and was considered as a propitiatory sacrifice 
to the gods, to avert their anger. 

Of the white residents the Americans are the most nume- 
rous. Most of the foreign trade is in their hands, and several 
are reputed to be quite wealthy. The town bears many evi- 
dences of their enterprise. Their dwelling-houses and stores 
are the largest and handsomest in the place. They have also 
a neat chapel of their own, and support a weekly newspaper. 

There is a regular market here, and all kinds of provisions 
can be had as cheap as we get them at home. The beef 
comes chiefly from the Island of Hawaii, and is fat and well- 
flavored. Oranges, pine-apples, plaintains and bananas are 
also abundant, and of an excellent quality. 

When it became so dark that I could no longer see the town 
to advantage, I repaired to the principal hotel, where I got a 
very good supper. There is a billiard- table connected with this 
establishment, which I found well patronized by the foreign 
residents and chiefs ; several of the latter were noble-looking 
men, and spoke very good English. 

On the 20th, two natives were hung at the fort, in the pre- 
sence of a great concourse of people, for poisoning a woman, 
wife to one of them. Their trial took place about a fortnight 
before, and was conducted, we were told, in a very impartial 
and dignified manner. The governor was the presiding judge, 
and the king and high chiefs were present. The accused were 
allowed to challenge a jury, which consisted of twelve of the 
most intelligent and respectable natives. They were also 
allowed to choose counsel. One of the criminals was a chief 
of high rank. 

October 27th. This morning I went to witness an exami- 
nation of the native children. I found them assembled at the 


Rev. Mr. Bingham's church, to the number of TOO. The 
examination lasted several hours, the exercises being spelling, 
reading, writing, arithmetic, singing, grammar and geography ; 
and it is certainly speaking moderately to say, the evidences 
of improvement exhibited on the occasion were very creditable 
to both teachers and pupils. The Governor, and Captains 
Wilkes and Hudson made short addresses, which were listened 
to with much attention. The scholars were then marched 
through the town to the Hev. Mr. Smith's church, each school 
bearing a banner, and the whole procession headed by the 
young chiefs. 

It was upon the whole one of the most interesting spectacles 
I have witnessed for a long time, and spoke well for the mis- 
sionaries. Besides the school just mentioned, there are three 
others in Honolulu one of which is under the superintendence 
of the Catholic bishop.* It is the opinion of the missionaries, 
and other foreign residents, that the native children are not 
inferior in intellect, or in other respects, to white children 
having equal advantages. 

October 28th. Having visited every object worthy of notice 
in the town of Honolulu, I determined to-day to ride out to the 
Pali. Strangers visiting Oahoo, ought by all means to take 
this drive it is impossible to conceive a more interesting one. 
After proceeding about two miles from the principal hotel 
you enter a valley, through the centre of which winds a beauti- 
ful stream, whose banks are lined with taro plantations, 
meadows and gardens, and dotted with cottages, while the 
sides on either hand are bounded with a range of hills, covered 
to their summits with verdure. The eye cannot turn but to 
banquet on some lovely or romantic object. Every cottage is 

* Formerly the Protestant was the only religion tolerated by the government, but 
now all creeds are tolerated, and the Catholics have numerous converts in Honolulu. 


a picture, and the industry and happiness of man seems to co- 
operate with the beneficence of the soil and climate. In no 
part of the United States have I seen more agricultural 
neatness and industry. All the stone fences, dividing one 
field from another, are kept in the highest order. As you ad- 
vance you feel the air becoming more bracing, for the valley 
rises with a gradual ascent from the sea to the Pali. The 
bottom of the valley is more undulating, the hills grow higher 
and steeper, and the vegetation more varied. After a ride 
of about four miles through such country as has just been 
described, you enter a grove of hibiscus and other tropical 
trees. In a few minutes 3 r ou come again into open space, and 
after turning round a pile of rocks the Pali suddenly bursts 
upon your view, filling you with wonder and astonishment. 
On either hand immense masses of volcanic rock rise to the 
perpendicular height of between six and seven hundred feet ; 
while looking down beneath the fearful precipice, you behold 
in one view plantations, trees, villages, meadows filled with 
cattle grazing, the town of Honolulu, with its harbor and 
shipping, and the blue bosom of the Pacific. Painters, poets, 
and romance-writers would find here ample materials for con- 
templation and study. My guide, who was an elderly man, 
pointed out the place where two stone idols stood, before the 
coming of the missionaries to the islands, to which, he said, 
every native who intended to descend the precipice made an 
offering of tapa and flowers, in order to render them propitious 
to his descent. He also showed me the identical spot where 
the last king of Oahoo and his warriors were driven down 
headlong and dashed to pieces, by Tamahamaha I.,* and his 

* In viewing Tamahamaha I., says Mr. Turnbull, my imagination suggested to 
me, that I beheld in its first progress one of those extraordinary natures which, un- 
der other circumstances of fortune and situation, would have ripened into the future 


victorious army. The precipice is at least three times the 
height of Dover cliffs, and it is really fearful and dizzy to cast 
one's eyes over the horrid boundaries, 

" The murmuring surge 
That on the unnumbered idle pebbles chafe, 
Can scarce be heard so high." 

On my way back I met grea,t numbers of native women, who 
were riding out on horseback for pleasure. They were evi- 
dently in high spirits, for such chattering and giggling I have 
seldom heard. They fairly made the hills and valleys ring 
again. They also appeared to be very fond of showing off their 
horsemanship, and the mettle of their steeds. Running and 
leaping over every fence and wall that could be seen on their 
path was the order of the day. Indeed, horse-riding* is a 
favorite amusement of the Honoluluians, and there is not a 
Saturday afternoon in the year which is not devoted to it, and 
the more break-neck and wild the animal is the better. 

On entering the town my horse took fright at the sight 
of a group of urchins who were playing in the street, and, after 
running about half a mile, threw me, and bruised my side to 
such a degree that I was immediately obliged to go on board 
the ship, and have it attended to. But for this mishap T 

hero, and caused the world to resound with his feats of enterprise. What other was 
Philip of Macedon, as pictured by the Grecian historians, a man who overcame every 
disadvantage, and extended the narrow sovereignty of Macedon into the universal 
monarchy of Greece, and under his son, of the then known world. He is both a 
warrior and a statesman, and his subjects have already made considerable progress 
in civilization, but are held in the most abject submission, as Tamahamaha is in- 
flexible in punishing all offences which seem to counteract his authority. His palace 
is built alter the European style, of brick and glazed windows, and defended by a 
battery of ten guns. He has European and American artificers about him of almost 
every description. Indeed, his own subjects, from their intercourse with Europeans, 
have acquired a great knowledge of several of the mechanical arts, and have tbus 
enabled him to increase his navy a favorite object with him. 
* The females ride like the men. 


should be tempted to look upon this day as one of the happiest 
I have enjoyed during my earthly pilgrimage. 

On the 2d of December the "Peacock" and "Flying 
Fish 5 ' sailed for King's Mill Group, thence to Columbia River. 

December 4th. At 1.40 P. M. we took our departure for 
Hawaii P. A. Brinsmade, Esq., and Dr. Judd, physician to 
the mission, taking passage with us. 

During our stay at Oahoo, much was accomplished in the 
way of science. The artists of the expedition also were con- 
tinually employed, and took many views of scenery, and por- 
traits of the chiefs and common people. The harbor of Pearl 
River, was, for the first time, accurately surveyed, and found 
to be commodious and convenient for shipping, with twenty- 
three feet of water over the bar, off its entrance. The road- 
stead and harbor of Hanolulu were also thoroughly sounded 
out. The Salt Lake of EAva* which heretofore was supposed 
to be connected with the sea, and to be influenced by the tides, 
was examined, and the salt was found to be a mineral produc- 
tion ; salt was found nearly two hundred feet above the sur- 
face of the lake. This examination also settled the question 
with regard to its depth. Instead of being fathomless, its 
depth was no where found to be more than two feet. 

Meteorological and magnetical observations were daily 
taken, both on board the ship and at the observatory, in short, 
nothing was neglected that could add to the natural history of 
the island. 

December 5th. At an early hour this morning we came 
in sight of the mountains of Hawaii. Their immense 

* This is a small circular lake situated about seven miles to the west of Honolulu, 
so impregnated with salt, that between five and six hundred barrels of fine hard chrys- 
talized salt are taken out annually. It belongs to the king, and is a source of consid- 
erable revenue large quantities of the article being sold to the Hudson's Bay Company, 
and used for curing salmon and hides. 


height excited our astonishment and wonder ; the summits 
rose far above the highest clouds, and for several thousand 
feet down were covered with snow, which, when the sun rose, 
glistened and sparkled with a degree of brilliancy that almost 
blinded the beholder. This mighty scene recalled the follow- 
ing effusion to which Moore was excited on a similar occasion : 

" No, never shall I lose the trace 
Of what I've felt in this bright place ; 
And should my spirit's hope grow weak, 
Should I, God ! e'er doubt thy power, 
This mighty scene again I'll seek, 
At this same calm and glooming hour, 
And here at the sublimest shrine 
That nature ever reared to thee, 
He-kindle all that hope divine 
And feel my immortality !" 

At sunset the natives* assembled on the forecastle, and at 
our request gave us a specimen of their wrestling. Forming 
a ring, one of them stepped in the centre with his arms ex- 
tended ; he was immediately approached by another from the 
opposite side, not in the usual step, but by crossing the legs 
alternately ; he then brought both feet together, and com- 
menced making a variety of motions with his hands. After 
this, which lasted about five minutes, each seized the other by 
the wrist and neck, and by a variety of movements made by 
the arms and feet, continued to struggle until one of the 
parties was thrown. 

During the night, many meteors were observed. It is 
impossible for language to paint the glories of the firmament 
in dear moonlight nights among these islands. They surpass 
any I have ever witnessed in other parts of the globe. 

* While at Oahoo, numbers of these people were shipped on board the diflerent 
vessels of the squadron, for the purpose of employing them in the beats. 


December 9th. At 3.30 P. M., we reached the harbor of 
Waiakea, or Byron's Bay, and anchored in three and a half 
fathoms of water. The entrance into this bay is so easy that 
a pilot is altogether unnecessary, for you have only to keep 
the western shore aboard until the reef, which makes off the 
mouth of the bay, is passed, and then haul up for Cocoa-nut 
Island, off which is the best holding-ground. 

We had no sooner let-go the anchor, than the king's agent 
came on board to welcome us to the island, and to make Cap- 
tain Wilkes a present of some mullet, which had just been 
caught in the king's fish-pond.* He was neatly and respect- 
ably dressed in the European style, and from having been 
brought up in Mr. Bingham's family spoke our language per- 
fectly well. 

* The Hawaiians take great pains to have fine fish. They take them from the sea 
when very small, and put them into ponds of salt water, where they remain several 
months ; thence they are carried into brackish water, and finally are introduced into 
ponds of fresh water, where they are carefully attended. 




THE aspect of this part of the island of Hawaii is one of 
surpassing beauty. The country gradually declines from the 
base of the mountain Mouna Loa, some thirty miles inland, 
to the coast, where it boldly and precipitately terminates. 
The soil appears to be of the best quality, not overgrown with 
forests and thickets, as is generally the case with those islands 
we have heretofore visited, but extending out in a kind of 
meadow-patches, enlivened by numerous streams, and beauti- 
fully diversified with clusters of bread-fruit trees, so as to give 
the whole a picturesque and at the same time an easy culti- 
vated prospect. In entering the bay, the neatly-thatched huts 
of the natives, situated among groups of venerable bread-fruit 
and other trees, become more numerous, and on arriving at the 
anchorage the scene is perfect ; for here, in addition to the 
beauties nature has so bountifully bestowed on the surrounding 
country, the taste and art of advancing civilization can be seen. 

The missionary families established here have built them- 
selves houses in the European style. There are also one or 
two stores, a neat chapel, and a mill or two for grinding cane, 
owned by a China man. 

December 10th. This morning we sent the scientific in- 
struments to the Observatory. This building is situated on 
the south-eastern side of the bay ; it is thirty feet long, by 
fifteen wide, and was, I am informed, erected expressly for 


our use by an order from the king. There were numbers of 
persons still employed in leveling off the ground around it, 
and in flatting down the grass with which it is covered. 

Dec. llth and 12th. These two days have been spent in 
making preparations for the excursion to the top of Mauna Loa. 

On the 14th, Captain Wilkes and party left for Manua 
Loa. The expedition set out from the Observatory, and, be- 
sides Captain W., consisted of Messrs. Budd, Eld, Pickering, 
Judd, Brinsmade, Brackenbridge, and Elliott, Serg. Stearns, 
twelve of the crew, and one hundred and fifty natives, or kana- 
kas. It was Captain Wilkes's intention to have started at 
a much earlier hour, but in this he was disappointed by a cir- 
cumstance which could not be foreseen. No sooner was the 
order to march given than thirty of the natives laid down their 
loads and declared they were sick, and could not go the 
excursion. Others were engaged to take their place, but not 
without much persuasion and great additional expense. They 
positively refused to go unless they received double the pay 
which had been offered those whom they were to relieve that 
is, eight dollars. 

The party will spend one night in the vicinity of Kilauei, 
which will be on their way. On reaching the summit of 
Mauna Loa, they will immediately go on erecting the tents. 
This done, the natives are to be discharged, with orders to re- 
turn again when their services are needed. As soon as the 
instruments are up, Captain Wilkes and Messrs. Budd and 
Eld will proceed with the observations, and continue them 
until a sufficient number are obtained to form the data from 
which the proper results are to be obtained. Such are the 
objects of this enterprise, and we do most sincerely wish it all 
the success imaginable. No observations, we believe, have as 
yet been made by any one at so great an altitude with instru- 


rnents like those with which the party are provided ; and as 
all of them would be highly interesting and useful, it would 
give us particular pleasure to have the honor of making them 
secured to our own country. 

There are some, however, who are of the opinion that the 
whole affair will fall through, from the fact of the natives not 
being able to stand cold, which is said, after an elevation of 
ten or twelve thousand feet, to be intense. 

December 15th. To-day I visited the shore, in company 
with a brother officer. We landed on the western side of the 
bay. A clump of cocoa-nut trees was standing within a few 
yards of the water's edge. Passing this we came to two 
avenues, of about half a mile in length, lined on either side 
with cane-plantations, taro-patches, and interspersed with 
trees loaded with flowers of the most gay and beautiful colors. 
One of the avenues, we were told, was entirely the work of 
those females who had violated the seventh commandment, 
and, like that at Tahiti, was distinguished by the name of 
" Broom-rood." After making a short call on one of the 
missionary gentlemen, who resides in a very neat and com- 
fortable house situated at the termination of the road just | 
mentioned, we repaired to Mr. Pittman's. This gentleman is I 
a native of Boston, and the principal merchant in Hilo. While 
we were sitting in his store, several natives came in, and 
made a number of purchases, which, we remarked, consisted 
chiefly of cotton-stuffs. We next set out to visit a brother- 
officer and messmate, who had taken up his residence on shore 
on account of ill-health. Pursuing a path which lay through 
fields overgrown with bushes, we soon arrived at the banks 
of Waikea. This river rises among the mountains in the in- 
terior, and previous to the introduction of Christianity was 
regarded by the natives as an object of great veneration. 


The remains of many of the temples that were dedicated to 
its god are still to be seen on its banks. The bed over which 
it flows is composed of black volcanic rock, and in some places 
is full of fissures and chasms. A little to the right of the 
spot where we struck it, there are two very beautiful cascades. 
The Waikea was also distinguished in olden times for the great 
number of fairs that were held on its banks. We had scarcely 
crossed this beautiful stream when we reached the house which 
our friend occupied. It is the property of Mr. Pittman's son, 
and, besides being shaded by magnificent trees, it commands a 
noble view of the harbor. After spending a few hours with our 
friend, we set out to return on board. Many native houses were 
scattered along our path, some of which we entered. They 
were not so large nor so cleanly as those we had seen at Oahoo. 

We reached the ship just as the eight o'clock gun was fired. 

December 17th. During these twenty-four hours the air 
has been uncommonly keen, on account of the wind blowing 
from the westward. This wind blows down the mountains, 
and is more dreaded by the natives than any other. Both 
day and night^ during its continuance, they keep large fires 
burning in their houses, and gather round them as closely as 
they can. It is, in fact, to them, what the northeast wind is 
to us in the winter season. 

December 18th. Several letters have been received to-day 
from the Mouna Loa party, and among others, one from Cap- 
tain Wilkes, addressed to the first Lieutenant, in which, he 
directs that fifty of the crew should be sent to him. One of the 
letters stated that about thirty of the natives had given out. 

The swell is running very heavy. We have stood it out, how- 
ever, thus far, with only one anchor and eighty fathoms cable. 

December 19th. At early dawn, Lieut. Alden and Mr. San- 
ford left here with the fifty men sent for by Captain Wilkes. 


It is justice due to those men to state, that not one of them 
waited to be ordered ; they came forward and volunteered 
their services the moment they learned they were needed. 
During the night the reflection from the Volcano Kilauea, 
was uncommonly vivid, insomuch that we concluded some 
new eruption had taken place. 

December 21st. In the afternoon we hauled the seine, and 
in two hauls captured fish enough to supply every mess in the 
ship for several days to come. Both hauls were made near 
the beach, and the last one in the presence of a great number 
of the Kanakas, and it was amusing to see the astonishment 
which they expressed. 

They have seines of their own, but they are of such misera- 
ble construction as to be of very little use. There are many 
varieties of fish found in the bays of Hawaii ; but the mullet 
is considered superior to all others in point of flavor. 

December 22d. More letters have been received from the 
Mauna Loa party, and they all state, that the natives are 
giving out hourly ; one cause of complaint is, that the loads 
which they are required to carry, are too heavy, which, no 
doubt, is too true ; we should think that fifty pounds was 
altogether too much for any one man to carry, especially on 
so long a journey, and one beset with so many natural difficul- 
ties. It would have been better, we believe, to have had the 
loads lighter, and employed more people. 

December 23d. To-day the Headman of Hilo, and family, 
and the King's agent and his lady, dined in the ward-room. 
The former is a large man with European features and of dig- 
nified manners. He also bears the reputation of being a man 
of great energy of character. The females were neatly dressed 
after the European fashion, and, considering their oppor- 
tunities, conducted themselves remarkably well. 


In the evening, Mr. Williamson, gunner, reported that he 
saw on shore, Mr. Sanford and a man named McDonald, who 
was so lame as scarce to be able to walk. 

December 24th. This morning Mr. Sanford and McDonald 
came on board. Mr. Sanford stated that he was obliged to 
return on account of his suffering from the asthma, after leav- 
ing the volcano. In the evening Mr. Elliott arrived with 
orders to the first Lieutenant, from Captain Wilkes, to keep 
up a constant communication between the ship and the moun- 
tain. Mr. Elliott reports that he left the. party about fifteen 
miles, or two days' walk, from the top of the mountain ; 
that the ascent thus far had been difficult and painful, and 
that one of the crew named Longly (an excellent man) was 
found missing. He also tells us that they had suffered a 
great deal from cold, and want of provisions and water ; the 
latter article being so scarce, that upwards of two dollars had 
been paid for a gallon of it. 

In the course of the afternoon, two white men came on 
board to say to the Purser, that they had been dispatched by 
Captain Wilkes to tell him to send two hundred natives up the 
mountain with wood. These men report that Captain Wilkes, 
and about half a dozen others had reached the summit. 

December 26th. At an early hour, one hundred and thirty 
natives left town with wood and water, for the use of the 
party on Mauna Loa. The Headman of Hilo went with 
them, and will hereafter stay at what is termed the half-way 
house, and superintend the natives, who are to be constantly 
kept carrying wood and water up to Mr. Alden's tent. 

December 27th. We are gratified to learn that Longly 
has been found. The poor fellow was laying under a rock 
speechless, and already in a state of delirium preceding a final 
dissolution ; but he is now doing well. 





ON the morning of the 24th of January, Messrs. M , 

H , and myself, applied for permission to visit Mount 

Kilauea. As the permission was granted, we set about making 
the necessary arrangements for the tour. We directed our 
steward to put up provisions for six days, and in the afternoon 
went on shore, and engaged horses from the Headman of Hilo 
to take us up to the crater. We also engaged a white man, 
named Smith, to act as guide to the party, and several natives, 
who were to carry our baggage. 

We told Smith we should be ready to set out the next day, 
and should expect him and the natives to meet us at an early 
hour at the Observatory, that being the starting-point. Ac- 
cordingly, the following morning, we repaired to the Observa- 
tory, where we found Smith and the natives ; and by six 
o'clock, all preparations being made, we took our departure. 
Pursuing a westerly course, we soon came to the River Wikuea, 
which we crossed near the Headman's house. In a few 
minutes after, we reached the road which leads to the volcano. 
We had only traveled a short distance on this road, when we 
entered a track of country which was entirely covered with 
fern, and but thinly inhabited. It was here that I took the 
resolution to return my horse to the Headman and take to 


walking. Smith informed me that there were but few horses 
on the island, and those have been brought over from Oahoo, 
and are generally old and broken down. 

At 1 o'clock it commenced to rain, but it turned out to 
be only a shower. The road now laid through a dense forest, 
in which we observed growing in great abundance the Teutui- 
tree, from the nut of which the natives extract an excellent 
oil. On emerging from this wood, we found ourselves in a 
country similar to that we passed over before. About 4 
o'clock we reached the house where Captain Wilkes and 
party spent their second night while on their way to the sum- 
mit of Mouna Loa. It is a large native building, standing 
a few hundred yards from the road, with some cultivated 
land around it. We now came to a region of country entirely 
composed of lava and producing no other vegetation than what 
grew in the crevices. This lava was of a dark brown color 
and very hard, and with a surface ruffled like that of the sea 
at the first springing up of a breeze. It was a highly interest- 
ing scene both for the geologist and mineralogist. After a 
walk of between three and four miles over this volcanic re- 
gion, we passed on our left a cluster of cottages, surrounded 
apparently by a rich soil, and shortly after reached what is 
called the " half-way house," where we proposed to spend the 
night. Upon entering, the inmates immediately retired to 
one of the out-houses, thus giving us possession of the en- 
tire building. It appeared to be newly erected and better con- 
structed than any building we had seen on the way. In the 
centre of the floor was a cheerful fire, the sight of which 
we hailed with joy, for we were both wet and cold. Around 
its gladsome blaze we seated ourselves, enjoyed its genial 
warmth, dried our clothing, and then proceeded to par- 
take our repast. When the repast was over we once morp 


gathered around the fire, and, after comfortably warming our- 
selves, retired for the night. 

January 26th. At 8 o'clock we resumed our journey. It 
was a bright sunny morning, and the neighboring woods were 
enlivened with songsters of various colors and species. Few 
birds are to be seen along the shore, but in the interior of the 
island they are numerous, and the notes of three or four kinds 
are exceedingly sweet. 

Between 11 and 12 we reached the two shanties situated 
about eight miles from the volcano. Here we halted for the 
baggage men to come up. Scarcely had we got seated when 
a girl about sixteen years of age, entered, and took a seat by 
us. Upon inquiry she informed us that she belonged to the 
opposite side of the island and was going to visit some of her 
friends who were residing near Hilo. She was evidently one 
of the lower class, yet her manners were pleasing and even 
graceful. Perceiving she was without provisions, we offered 
her some of our own, but she declined the offer, and shortly 
after rose up and proceeded on her journey. 

The scantiness of vegetation, the presence of disrupted 
volcanic masses, and the appearance of columns of steam is- 
suing from the rents intersecting the ground over which we 
were passsing, convinced us that we must be near the crater 

At length, about 4 o'clock, we came in sight of the mo- 
narch of all volcanoes but the light of day, robbed it of much 
of its splendor ; still the eye of man never beheld a more 
sublime and terrific scene. Before us was a cavity between 
six and seven miles in circumference and upwards of a thou- 
sand feet in depth ; within this were to be seen lakes of varied 
size and form, filled with burning matter, and emitting columns 
of flame and vapor. 


It is remarkable that this crater should present an external 
aspect so entirely dissimilar to that of Etna and Vesuvius, or 
any of the volcanoes of South America. Those are characte- 
rized by an elevated cone, out of which are ejected igneous 
rocks and ashes. Kilauea, on the contrary, is an immense 
depression in the midst of a vast plain with nothing to warn 
you of a near approach but the signs, which I have before 
spoken of. 

We now directed our course toward the cluster of shanties 
erected on the brim of the crater by Captain Wilkes's party, 
which we soon reached, and found one occupied by Dr. Pick- 
ering, who came round by the sea-shore. The remaining 
shanties were in the possession of about fifty natives, who had 
come from a town near the coast to take away a large canoe 
which they had made in the neighboring wood, some time pre- 

After supper we proceeded in company with Dr. Pickering 
to a place about half a mile to the eastward of the shanties 
to obtain a view of a small crater which was represented to 
be unusually active. We could not possibly have selected a 
more eligible position. We stood on a 1 pile of rocks which 
commanded a bird's-eye view of the fiery lake. It was 
several thousand feet in circumference, and nearly round in 
form. The color of its burning contents was that of a cherry- 
red or deep crimson, and it was in a state of terrific ebullition. 
Sometimes the fiery fluid was ejected many feet into the air, 
at other times it was seen to overflow the edges on the circumja- 
cent lava, for many yards distant. We continued to gaze upon 
the scene about an hour, and then returned to our lodgings, 
where we soon had opporturnity of observing another phenome- 
non of a character not less grand and splendid. We were re- 
clining on our mats, with our eyes directed towards the largest 


of the lakes, when a portion of the bank forming one of its 
sides, was seen to give way and fall into the liquid lava beneath 
with a frightful crash. The whole surface was in the most vio- 
lent agitation ; billows were formed as high apparently as any 
we had ever seen on the ocean, and dashed against the side of 
the crater with such violence as to throw the fiery spray sixty 
or seventy feet high. The sight of this spectacle alone would 
have repaid us for the trouble of coming thus far. When the 
surface of the fiery stream became quiescent again, we wrapped 
ourselves in our blankets and sought repose. 

When breakfast was over, we proceeded to visit the bottom 
of the crater. After a brief walk in the direction of the Sul- 
phur Springs, we turned to the left, and suddenly commenced 
descending by a steep and rugged path ; columns of vapors 
smelling strongly of sulphur were issuing from crevices and 
pits lining either side of the road. We estimated some of 
the latter to be upwards of two hundred feet in depth. After 
a descent of about one quarter of a mile, we passed on our 
right a crater which bore unmistakable signs of having long 
since become extinct ; it was everywhere covered with shrub- 
bery, and trees of considerable dimensions. Another walk of 
about fifteen minutes brought us to what is called the " Ledge." 
It was not until then that we formed an adequate idea of the 
magnitude and sublimity of this wonderful crater. On which- 
soever side we cast our eyes, we beheld a wall of solid lava 
of a thousand feet, or more, in altitude, and from six to seven 
miles in circumference. This ledge surrounds the crater; 
thus forming a kind of natural gallery several hundred yards 
in width. The surface is but little broken, and presents a 
uniform appearance, being of a dark brown or iron color. 

At length we reached the bottom. The path leading to 
this was also very abrupt and dangerous ; we were in danger 


every moment of being killed by the falling of fragments of 
rocks, or of being precipitated down the fathomless pits. The 
descent did not exceed four hundred yards, but we were up- 
wards of twenty minutes in accomplishing it. 

Dr. Pickering and myself remained at the bottom of the 
crater upwards of an hour. It varies in its character much ; in 
some places the surface is so hot as to be painful to the feet, 
and the gurgling sound of the liquid lava beneath warned us 
that we were treading on dangerous ground ; in others it was 
broken and twisted into every imaginable shape ; in others it 
was thrown up in the wildest confusion, resulting, no doubt, 
from the sudden cooling and contracting of the lava ; in 
another place there were lakes of fire and smoke, and in 
others again it presented a smooth glassy-like surface, and so 
fragile as to frequently break through, and precipitate us 
several feet before we gained a sure footing. I received several 
falls, and bruised my hands and knees dreadfully. 

We approached within a few yards of the largest of the 
lakes. It is situated to the northeast, and ranges in a direction 
nearly east and west, and we estimated its circumference at up- 
wards of three-quarters of a mile, it being oval in shape ; at the 
east end the lava flowed in gentle waves at the west it was in 
a much higher state of action it was there boiling and thrown 
up into the air to the height of hundreds of feet, and then de- 
scending again in showers of spray. The heat was so intense 
as to burn our hands and faces many yards distant, and the 
glare so strong as to be painful to the eyes. Thick black 
columns of smoke rose from the centre. The wind roared like 
thunder, as it rushed by us to fill the vacuum produced by 
the intense heat, while at intervals the bank on which we 
stood, cracked and shook in the most frightful manner. 
The idea of falling into some of these fissures was by no 


means agreeable, and really, I, for one, felt very much re- 
lieved when we turned our eyes from the scene to retrace 
our steps. 

On our regaining the ledge, we fell in with Mr. H., who 
had gone to collect some specimens of what is called Pele's 
hair. He succeeded, and beautiful specimens they were. 
There seems to be some doubt as to the manner this is pro- 
duced. My opinion is, that it is formed simply by the sweep- 
ing of the wind over the surface of the lava while in a liquid 
state. It is to be found all over the ledge, and on the bushes 
growing around the brim of the crater ; it very much resembles 
tufts of fine flax. On the leeward side of the crater, Mr. H. 
found it so abundant that the ground in places appeared as if 
covered with cobwebs. 

Pele, according to the mythology of the natives, is the 
goddess of Kilauea, and it is believed that many of them still 
worship her in secret. It is said that they never approached 
it previous to the introduction of Christianity, without the 
greatest fear and veneration, and then only to deliver their 
offering by casting it into the burning lake. 

When about, half way back we met Mr. Lyman, one of the 
resident missionaries, and Mr. Elliott, our chaplain. At 3 
P. M. we reached our lodgings, and, as might be expected, 
were hungry, thirsty, and very much fatigued. After dinner 
I accompanfed Mr. H. to the Sulphur Banks to procure some 
specimens, but in this we were disappointed, as we saw none 
that were worth the trouble of preserving. There were some 
forming, however, which promised to be very fine. The edges 
of several of the crevices from which the gases issued that 
produced the sulphur, were lining with crystals of the most 
beautiful shape and brilliancy. We estimated the length of 
these banks to be two hundred yards, and their height from 


ten to thirty feet. Many caverns and chasms were observable 
in their vicinity. 

The ensuing night harmonized well with the glorious scenes 
witnessed during the day : 

" As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night, 
O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light, 
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene, 
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene : 
Around her throne the vivid planets roll, 
And stars unnuniber'd gild the glowing pole ; 
O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed, 
And tip with silver every mountain's head." 

.January 28th. At an early hour I bade adieu to Kilauea,' 
and set out to return to Hilo, taking the route by which Dr. 
Pickering had ascended. After a walk of about five miles 
I overtook the party of Kanakas whom we found at the vol- 
cano on the evening of our arrival. They were compelled to 
bear the canoe on their shoulders, as the road was too steep 
and rugged to allow the use of rollers. At 11 o'clock I came 
in sight of Mount Popii, and by noon reached the summit, 
from which I had a view of the crater on the western side. It 
appears very ancient, as everywhere it is covered with trees 
and shrubbery. It resembles a funnel in shape, and I estimated 
its depth to be four hundred feet. 

Leaving Mount Popii, I turned off to a path diverging to 
the left, which soon brought me to another crater. The 
bottom of this was overflowed with fresh lava ; but it did not 
materially differ from the one above mentioned. This lava 
had doubtless run in during the recent eruption, and worked 
its way from the crater Kilauea by some subterranean passage.; 
its color was nearly that of clay, and the surface appeared 
highly glazed the aperture through which it run in may still 


be seen. It bore from where I was standing about northwest, 
is several feet in circumference, about fifty yards from the top 
of the crater, and one hundred yards from the bottom. 

Pursuing the same path I next came to the bed of lava, 
which owes its origin to the same eruption as that just alluded 
to ; this presented the most^ singular spectacle. Many of the 
trees with which the whole country was formerly covered are 
still standing, overlooking the scene of desolation. The lava 
was in that state which it generally assumes after it com- 
mences to cool. Throughout its whole length and breadth it 
was split and broken into pieces of various shapes and sizes ; 
gases were escaping from several of the rents which smelt 
strongly of sulphur, insomuch that I became aware of their 
existence an hour or two previous to my reaching them. It was 
from these fissures that the liquid mass made its appearance. 
One of them is nearly three feet in width, another two feet, 
and a third eighteen inches. From the summit of Mount 
Popii a fine view of the stream may be obtained. It is about 
three miles long, and from three to five hundred yards wide. 
The appearance of the surface is uniform, being of a color 
nearly black,- and full of glittering crystals. The average 
height above the adjacent ground is four feet. No one can 
see all this, and yet question the theory of the igneous 
fluidity of the centre of our globe. " All combustible causes 
that we are aquainted with are totally inadequate to produce 
such an effect. 

It was my intention to have visited another crater, which 
I was told to be still larger than any I had seen, except that 
of Kilauea ; but having missed the path leading to it, and it 
being also near sunset, I deemed it best to endeavor to reach 
a house about two miles off, where Smith said I would find 
good lodgings, and which I succeeded in reaching about dusk. 


Smith was right ; we had excellent accommodations, and our 
sleep was sweet and refreshing. 

January 29th. The landscape was still glittering with the 
dews of night when I resumed my journey. The morning is 
the proper time to travel here, as the air is then cool and 
delicious. After a short walk I reached a village, containing 
between twenty and thirty houses. As I passed through, 
many of the inhabitants came out of their dwellings to inquire 
where I was going, and from whence I came. The Hawaiians 
are naturally a very curious and inquisitive people. The 
land in the vicinity of this village appeared fertile, and was 
in a high state of cultivation. Among other productions, I 
observed the coffee-tree and sugar-cane. The average height 
of full-grown coffee trees is about nine feet ; they arrive at 
their full growth in four or five years, and continue to bear 
from ten to fifteen years. The coffee-blossom is a beautiful 
and highly fragrant little white flower, and the berry, when 
fully ripe, is of a pale red color. I came next to a field of 
lava, which, like those I passed yesterday, had been torn and 
shattered, either by the expansive force of the air underneath 
at the time the lava WPS in a semi-fluid state, or by some vio- 
lent convulsion of nature. The traveling over it was exces- 
sively fatiguing, as the lava was both very rugged and brittle. 

Leaving this barren and solitary waste, I soon passed on 
my left several conical hills, which were once craters, but now 
are overgrown with bushes and other vegetation. 

At 3 o'clock I stopped at a shanty, erected by the side of 
the road, to prepare dinner, and to allow the natives, who car- 
ried the baggage and specimens, to come up. 

Having refreshed ourselves, we pursued our way. The path 
now lay through an open country, covered with light yellow soil 
producing nothing but grasses, and a few whortleberry bushes. 
]L . 


Another two hours' walk brought us to a pool of rain water ; 
here we filled up our water bags and calabashes. There are 
but few springs in this part of Hawaii, and no rivers so that 
the inhabitants are obliged to have recourse to the method of 
catching rain-water in calabashes, which they keep suspended 
in great numbers around the roofs of their habitations at all 
times. Nature is boundless in her resources, and the more 
we inquire and examine, the more we are lost in wonder and 
admiration at the great scheme for carrying on the designs of 
the Creator. Though some parts of these islands are left for 
six months together without rain, yet an ample provision has 
been made to counteract the ill-effects of so long a drought. 
Vegetation, which, with us, would speedily perish without an 
abundant supply of rain, is there sufficiently nourished by that 
moisture, which plants, as they bud and blossom and produce 
their fruit, have the power of hoarding up and retaining from 
one rainy season to another, and by the heavy dews that 
nightly fall upon their large expanded leaves. 

About sunset, we arrived at Waiiha, where I determined to 
spend the night. This is a pleasant village, situated within a 
few miles of the sea-shore. The inhabitants appeared to be 
in very comfortable circumstances ; their houses were large 
and well furnished, after the native manner. The dwelling in 
which I took lodgings, was the property of the principal 
magistrate of the place. He himself was absent, but his wife 
gave me a cordial welcome ; she received me with many ex- 
pressions of kindness, led -me into the house, and immediately 
set about to prepare a repast. We had two dishes, which 
deserve notice, as I believe they are peculiar to the natives of 
these islands ; the names under which they are best known, 
are Poi and Poi-dog the former is made of boiled taro, 
pounded up and mixed with water into a paste ; it is served up 


in calabashes, and conveyed to the mouth with the fingers, by 
all ranks and ages. People who live on the sea-coast, eat 
with it a small fish in a raw state, resembling the sardine. 

The Poi-dog is not one of our common curs, but a dainty 
animal, fed entirely on vegetable food, generally on taro made 
into a poi, and hence the name (a Hawaiian would no more 
eat one of our kind of dogs than we would) the animal is 
sometimes roasted before the fire just as we roast beef ; but 
more generally it is " lau-ude," that is, after the skin is 
taken oiF, the animal is wrapped up in leaves and put into a 
hole made in the earth, of several feet in circumference, and 
about two feet in depth ; when in, some more leaves are spread 
over the animal, hot stones are then placed on the leaves, and 
a covering of nine or ten inches thick, formed of leaves and 
earth, is spread over the whole. In this state the animal 
remains about three-quarters of an hour, when the hole is 
opened and the animal taken out. The many eulogies passed 
on the dish by my kind hostess, and my curiosity in the matter, 
conquered my prejudices against the name, and really had I 
not known to the contrary, I should have thought I was par- 
taking of a piece of roast pig. 

January 31st. At an early hour I took leave of the kind 
family, with whom I passed the night. The Hawaiians are a 
hospitable people, and there are many of them who, if they 
had only one fowl or pig in the world, would cheerfully take 
it to furnish a repast for a friend or a stranger. 

After a brief walk I reached the sea-shore, which I found 
thickly sprinkled with cottages. At 10 o'clock I halted at a 
house which was deserted, to partake of some breakfast. This 
house, I was told by the guide, had been the residence of a 
chief, and was deserted during the recent eruption, when it 
was believed that it, like many others, would be destroyed by 


the liquid lava. It was large and well built, and commanded 
a fine view of the ocean. 

When breakfast was over, I proceeded to visit the place 
where the stream of lava run into the sea during the eruption 
just alluded to, also the three hills, said to have been formed 
at the same time. The direction of the stream was northeast, 
and is said to be between twenty and thirty miles in length, 
and from one to nine thousand yards in width. When first 
discovered it was supposed that a new crater had been formed ; 
but it is now ascertained that it worked its way from the old 
Volcano Kilauea. The depth of the stream, as seen down the 
rents, was from five to twenty feet. At first it flowed smoothly, 
and after remaining so for some ten days, broke up into its 
present rough and confused state. I estimated its breadth, 
where it run into the sea, to be two thousand feet. The lava, 
as far as the eye could reach, was of a jet-black color, and 
excessively brittle. I ascended two of the highest hills ; they 
stood within a few yards of the beach, and parallel to each 
other were formed of sand, scoria, and ashes and I found 
their height to be two hundred feet. It is not likely they 
will remain permanent, as the surf is continually beating 
against their sides and gradually washing them away. Near 
these hills were two sand-beaches, which owed their origin to 
the same eruption. The sand was composed of a substance 
similar to that of the adjoining lava, and was probably formed 
by the igneous stream coming in contact with the sea. The 
lava suddenly cooling, flew into small pieces and particles, and 
was thrown back upon the land by the agitated waters. 

I now walked along the coast, sometimes keeping so near 
the edge as to be wet with the spray of the surge which broke 
violently against it. The houses thickened, and about 4 
o'clock I reached a hamlet, consisting of some dozen or fifteen 


cottages. After another two hours' walk I arrived at the last 
village within the district of Puna. The appearance presented 
by this village was very inviting. The houses were mostly 
built among shady groves, while the country in the vicinity 
was beautifully laid out in plantations and gardens. It had 
an air of freshness and comfort which was very gratifying, 
especially after coming from the desolate scene above de- 
scribed. The inhabitants, though not so well dressed, or per- 
haps not so far advanced in the scale of civilization .as those 
about Hilo, were very kind and hospitable. Many of them 
invited me to their houses, and made me presents of cocoa- 
nuts and bananas. 

After walking a mile or two farther I came to a piece of 
wood, the traveling through which was exceedingly fatiguing 
and dangerous, as at almost every step I sank ankle-deep into 
mud, or fell into some hole, which the darkness of the night 
rendered invisible. . But as I was aware that the wood was of 
no great extent, and that when through it I should be near my 
journey's end, I pushed on, and about eight o'clock I had the 
satisfaction of finding myself in the open country about Hilo. 
I directed my steps to the Observatory, and on reaching it found 
there one of our boats, which conveyed me to the ship, and so 
ended this interesting jaunt. It afforded me both amusement 
and instruction ; and it is not likely that some of the impres- 
sions it has left upon my mind will ever be effaced while on 
this side of the grave. 

During my absence nothing worthy of particular notice tran- 
spired, except the return of the expedition which set out to 
ascend Mauna Loa. Indomitable perseverance eventually over- 
came all obstacles, and the " Stars and Stripes" waved up- 
wards of a week over one of the highest mountains in the world. 
The success of the undertaking was as complete as could be 


wished. The altitude of the most elevated point of the moun- 
tain was measured, and found to be 13,500 feet above the 
level of the ocean. 

The following observations, extracted from Mr. Eld's 
journal, will give some idea of the character of the mountain, 
and of the hardships experienced by our people during their 
continuance on its summit. He says 

" I never in all my life have witnessed so perfect a scene 
of desolation as the upper region of this mountain presents. 
There is not a tree on it, nor shrub, nor any other kind of vege- 
tation, to refresh the eye. You behold nothing but a mass of 
lava that at one period has been ejected in a liquid state from 
the terminal crater. To appearance it is of different ages, 
some of very ancient date, though not yet decomposed. In 
some places it is smooth, in others it appears in the form of 
clinkers, which occasionally are raised from five to thirty feet 
above the surface of the surrounding lava. There are several 
extinct craters in sight, one of which is even larger than that 
of Kilauea." 

" December 25th. This is the most uncomfortable Christ- 
mas-day I have ever experienced. The only way we had of 
keeping warm wa-s to wrap ourselves in pea-coats and blankets. 
We had not wood enough to cook our food, and I had to con- 
tent myself with some sea-biscuit and a piece of raw pork." 

" December 27th. The cold this day to our feelings was 
intense, although the thermometer did not stand lower than 
26. All our exertions in carrying stone for the wall which is 
to surround our tents, for the purpose of protecting them from 
the violent winds, and other exercises, such as running and 
jumping, could scarcely keep us from freezing. We also found 
it very difficult to breathe, on account of the rarified state of 
the air. On examination it was also found that our pulses 


varied, and were very easily excited mine fluctuated from 
80 to 120 beats." 

" December 28th. This has been a pleasant day for these 
regions. At sunrise the effect of horizontal refraction on the 
sun was very perceptible. It seemed quite small as it ap- 
peared above the sea, forming a long horizontal ellipse of two 
and a half diameters, first enlarging on one side and then 

" On the 31st the temperature at noon in the sun was 92, 
in the shade at 55, and after dusk it was as low as 13. In 
the afternoon I had an attack of the Mountain Sickness. I 
was sick at the stomach, and had a severe pain in the head." 

" The night was favorable for observations, and we made 

On the morning of the 5th of February we got under-way, 
and shaped our course for Maui. 

The following day, at 2.45 P. M., the Island of Kaloolawe 
bore west north-west. This is a small, barren island, and 
used by the Hawaiian Government as a place of exile for con- 
victs, who depend on rain-water for drink, and glean a scanty 
subsistence from potatoes, which they manage to raise on one 
or two fertile patches. At 4 P. M. we descried the Island of 
Maui ; it appeared at a distance like two distinct islands. 
The coast was generally bold and steep, and intersected by 
numerous valleys, or ravines. Many of these are apparently 
formed by streams from the mountains which flow through 
them into the sea. The rocks along the coast were composed 
of very hard compact lava, or a kind of basalt* 

The habitations of the natives appeared in clusters at the 
openings of the valleys, or scattered over the sides of the 
hills. It is a beautiful island. 

About sunset we came-to off Lahaina, the principal town. 


February 8th. This forenoon we were honored with a visit 
from his Hawiian majesty, Tamahameha III. As we had the 
chronometers on board we did not salute him, but paid him, 
however, every other mark of respect. Tamahameha III, or 
Kamine, as he is familiarly called, is a son of the celebrated 
Tamahameha I., and a brother of Liho-Liho, during whose 
reign idolatry and the taboo system were abolished. He is 
probably twenty-seven years of age, of a middle height, and 
rather inclined to be corpulent. His complexion is dark olive, 
his hair of a jet black and straight, and his countenance 
mild and interesting. In disposition, he is frank, kind and 
generous. The people always speak of him as a good man. 
His manners are perfectly free and agreeable. He was edu- 
cated under the surveillance of the missionaries, and, besides 
reading and writing his own language, can speak English and 
Spanish intelligibly. About two years since, he married the 
daughter* of a chief of the second rank, but, as yet, he has 
no children. He is generally attended by a number of favor- 
ites who join in all his amusements and occupations. His 
dress on state occasions, consists of a blue coat with epaulettes, 
white pantaloons and vest, a chapeau, and a sword. At 
other times, he generally appears in a blue jacket and a blue 
cloth cap with a gold band around it. He is very fond of the 
sea, and has a schooner belonging to himself, in which he 
spends much of his time. He is also fond of all kinds of ath- 
letic exercises, is an excellent rider, and a good shot. He 
made us a long visit, and examined every part of the ship. 
He appears to entertain a high opinion of Americans, and I 
understand he frequently consults them upon matters of state. 
The Rev. Mr. Richards, who acts as his private secretary, 

* It is said he married her from love, after the chiefs refused to allow him to marry 
one of his sisters a practice which in former times was not considered improper. 


and who accompanied him on the present occasion, is a native 
of New England. 

February 9th. To-day I visited the town. It is built near 
the sea-shore, and the principal street is about a mile long. 
Near the landing-place is a fort in good repair and well adapted 
for defence. Many of the houses have gardens attached 
to them, in which are growing taro, plantains, bananas, 
cabbages, onions, and a great variety of other vegetables. 
The king's palace is not yet finished, and he resides at pre- 
sent in a grass house built after the native style. The ma- 
terial employed in the construction of the new building is 
coral, brought from the neighboring reefs. The town contains 
several stores, a chapel, and a reading-room. It has con- 
siderable trade with whaling vessels. 

The inhabitants are numerous, and as well-dressed and well- 
behaved as any we have seen in the group. The surrounding 
country is very romantic and beautiful. The whole valley in 
the rear of the town is a perfect garden. The habitations of the 
natives are seen peeping through the leaves of the trees ; a fine 
stream takes its course from one end of the valley to the other 
in some places flowing along gently and smoothly at others, 
rushing down a fall of several feet, and dashing and breaking 
against the rocks that intercepts its progress ; while the sides 
of the hills which bound the valley towards the interior, are 
covered with verdure. An excellent view may be obtained of 
this charming landscape from the summit of the hill on which 
the high-school is located. There, as you stand, nearly three 
hundred feet high, you behold in one view the whole scene in 
which there are beauties that words cannot describe. 

" But who can paint 

Like nature ? Can imagination boast 

Amidst its gay creation, hues like her's ? 


And lay them on so delicately fine, 
And lose them in each other, as appears 
In every bud that blows ? If fancy then 
Unequal, fail beneath the pleasing task, 
Ah ! what shall language do ?" 

Want of time prevented my visiting the High-school, but, 
I understand, it is not in a very flourishing condition. The 
missionary gentlemen connected with the institution are, it is 
said, unfitted for the management of its operations. From 
this school, of late years, have been taken all the native teach- 
ers, and most of the young men employed on the part of the 
government. On returning to the beach, I found it thronged 
with native children, who were amusing themselves in the 
surf. This seems to be a favorite sport, not only with chil- 
dren, but men and women, and it is a novel and a beautiful 
sight to see them coming in on the top of a wave moving 
with a velocity that would overtake the swiftest of our race- 

Sometimes they will suddenly disappear, and thus remain 
until another roller comes along, and dashes them upon 
the beach. They will not engage in the sport unless the 
surf is running high. The surf-board which they use is 
made of some light wood, and is about six feet in length 
and twenty inches wide. It appeared to me to be a very 
dangerous amusement, especially for children ; but they 
seemed not to mind it. I continued to gaze on the scene 
until our sun -down boat shoved off to return to the ship. 

In the course of the afternoon Messrs. Budd and May 
left the ship to survey the shoal off the Island of Kaloo- 

March 10th. Several boats have been employed to-day in 
surveying and sounding the harbor, or, more properly, the 

Cocoa Tree, of Hawaii. 


roadstead ; the best anchorage is abreast of the King's Flag 

March 13th. This afternoon Mr. May and his boat's crew 
returned in canoes paddled by natives, the boat having 
gone to pieces at sea the same day he left the ship. It 
was very fortunate that Mr. Budd was near at hand with 
his boat. Seeing their situation, he immediately pulled up 
to them, and conveyed the crew ashore. He then returned 
to the wreck for the instruments and Mr. May, who he 
found had drifted, in the meantime, two or three miles out 
to sea. 

After landing, they walked some twenty miles before they 
reached the settlement, where they were hospitably entertained 
by the chief, and furnished with canoes to bring them back to 
the ship. Mr. May might have gone ashore with the men, 
but he generously declined to leave the wreck until the crew 
were taken off first. 

In the evening, Mr. Budd arrived with the instruments ; he 
stated that bad weather had prevented him from carrying out 
the instructions, in regard to the survey intrusted to his 

March 15th. At an early hour this morning, Mr. Budd 
and Mr. Sanford left with two boats to join the king's 
schooner, the use of which his Majesty had offered to 
Captain Wilkes until the shoal off Kaloolawe could be sur- 

The following day we ascertained by triangulation, the 
elevation of the highest peak on Maui. It is six thousand 
three hundred feet above the level of the ocean. At a height 
of two thousand feet from the base of this mountain, both the 
climate and soil are said to be well adapted to the growth of 
wheat and Irish potatoes. 


About noon we got under way, and stood over towards 
Kaloolawe under all sail. We " lay- to " during the greater 
part of the night. 

March 17th. At daylight wore ship, and stood in for 
Kaloolawe, and soon after fell in with the king's schooner. 
As she had not yet completed her surveying duties, we 
called away all our boats, and sent them to assist her. 
About 9 A. M., the boats returned, and we filled away and 
stood for Oahoo, while the king's schooner stood back for 

The shoal here alluded to is situated about two miles from 
the shore, has two fathoms water on it, at low tide, and is 
composed of a number of rocks, all within the circumference 
of three hundred feet. Ships passing through the channel 
between Hawaii and Maui, intending to anchor in Lahina 
Roads, must give Kaloolawe a wide berth, and steer for the 
Peak of Lanai until the High-school of Lahaina bears to the 
eastward of east northeast, when they may haul in, and steer 
directly for it. 

The principal object in returning to Oahoo, is to replenish 
our stock of provisions and stores. 

On the morning of the 19th, we anchored in Honolulu 
harbor. We found our friends and acquaintances all well, 
and apparently delighted at our return. Received an official 
visit from the Governor of the island. He was received with 
all due respect. Governor Kekuanaoa is a noble, intelligent 
looking man, and possesses great energy of character. He is 
one of the chiefs who accompanied King Liho-Liho in his 
visit to England, and speaks the English language quite 
well. He married the daughter of Tamahameha I., and 
his son Prince Alexander I., is now the heir to the Hawaiian 


On the 22d, Lieutenant Alden, with two boats in charge, 
left the ship to re-sound, and re-survey the harhor off Pearl 
River, on account of some doubts being expressed by the 
inhabitants of Honolulu, as to the accuracy of the former 

March 25th. This evening, Lieutenant Alden returned 
from Pearl River, and reported two of his crew as having 
deserted. He states that he found every part of his former 
survey correct. 




HAVING completed our surveying and scientific duties at 
the Sandwich Islands, on the morning of the 5th of April we 
sailed for the northwest coast of America. As light winds 
prevailed during this and the following day. we did not make 
much progress on our course. 

On the evening of the 7th, we passed the Island of Kauie. 
This is another of the Sandwich Islands ; it is about forty 
miles in length and twenty- three in breath. The population 
is estimated at 12,000. Its valleys are fertile, and produce 
sugar-cane, yams, and taro. 

On the 19th, we experienced a great change in the weather ; 
the wind shifted from the southward and eastward to the 
northward, and we had some violent squalls, which compelled 
us to reduce sail to reefed- topsails. In a few minutes after 
the wind shifted, there was a very sensible change in the 
temperature, and we found it necessary to put on our woolen 
clothing to keep comfortable. At noon our latitude was 
33 12' 00" north, longitude 152 28' 00" west. 

During the 20th, 21st, and 23d, we must have sailed 
through hundreds of acres covered with the Villula, or little 
man-of-war, as they are commonly called by sailors, from their 
resemblance to a vessel under canvas. They all had their 
little sails expanded, and were steering in the same direction 
as our ship. Their sail is a thin, semi-transparent membrane, 


extending diagonally from one side of the animal to the other. 
When examined in a bucket of water in the open air, it ap- 
peared to be almost white, but in certain lights, and in its 
native element, its edges are tinged by the most brilliant blue 
and crimson reflections. From the body are suspended numer- 
ous hair-like tentacula, or feelers, that are constantly engaged 
in entangling the food upon which the animal lives. It was 
an interesting sight to see these delicate little creatures mount- 
ing securely over the lofty billows, though a brisk breeze was 
carrying us along at the rate of eight or nine knots an hour. 

On the morning of the 28th of April we made Cape Disap- 
pointment, off the mouth of the Columbia River, but, as the 
weather was boisterous, and the sea broke with great violence 
on the bar, we did not deem it prudent to attempt to enter the 
river. Next morning the prospects of getting in were no 
better ; indeed, the chances seemed to be still more against 
us, as the wind during the night had hauled round to the 
southward and westward with increased strength ; we there- 
fore concluded to stand for Puget Sound, to the northward. 
About 10 A. M. on the 30th, the "look-outs" reported 
" breakers a-head" ; immediately all hands were called, and 
the ship was brought by the wind. After standing a few 
minutes on this course the weather cleared, and we discovered 
Destruction Rocks not more than half a mile off, and exactly in 
the direction where the breakers had been reported to be. It 
was in fact a very narrow escape from shipwreck and certain 
destruction, for even if we had succeeded in getting ashore, we 
should in all probability have been murdered by the savage 
natives. A few years ago a Russian brig was wrecked near 
the same place, the vessel went to pieces, but the crew got 
safely on shore. They were immediately attacked by the 
natives and massacred. Another time they attacked the boat 


of an American vessel that was engaged in the fur-trade, and 
killed several of the crew. The savages pretended at first 
that they had come to trade. Our pilot, who has been much 
among them, also represents them as being a treacherous and 
savage set. 

This circumstance goes to show that we must have been 
under the influence of a strong current setting to the eastward, 
for we had been steering all the preceding night northwest, a 
course which gave the rocks a berth of between thirty and 
forty miles. 

At 3 P. M. we passed between the two outer Flattery 
Rocks, carrying ten fathoms all the way through, and between 
4 and 5 o'clock passed Cape Flattery proper. 

We now sailed close along the starboard-shore, which gave 
us an opportunity of forming some idea of it. A chain of 
small islands and rocks run parallel with it some eight or ten 
miles after passing the Cape. It had but little beach, became 
high and broken in the interior, and was covered with a dense 
forest, apparently composed of the fir-tree. 

A little before sunset several canoes put off from a small 
bay and pulled toward us, evidently with the intention of 
paying us a visit, but we had no time to wait for them to get 
along-side, and after following us some time they turned back. 
In two of the canoes we observed several women, who seemed 
to take as active a share in the labors of the paddle as the 
men. They were all dressed in skins and blankets, and their 
heads were covered with a green-looking straw-hat of a conical 
form, with a very broad base, much resembling those which 
the Chinese are represented in pictures as wearing. 

The weather during the night was very disagreeable. 

May 1st. The weather continues cold and rainy. The 
shore we have passed to-day has been divided into steep cliffs 


and heads, with intermediate beaches. At 9 A. M. a large 
canoe, paddled by nine Indians, boarded us. They were all 
small in stature, and far from being good-looking, having 
broad, flat faces, with high cheek-bones and low foreheads. 
They were also very dirty about their persons, so much so 
that it was difficult to make out the color of their skin. One 
of them was dressed in corduroy pantaloons, and a jacket 
made of scarlet cloth, and could speak a little English. Their 
own language was harsh and disagreeable, seeming to be made 
up principally of gutterals, and the sounds cluck and click 
They wore as ornaments a small silver tube stuck through 
the partition of the nose, and small brass bells suspended 
around the rim of their ears. They had with them some eight 
or ten otter skins, but were unwilling to sell them. It 
seemed as though they had corne merely to look at the ship, 
she being the largest they had ever seen. They remained on 
board several hours and then went along-side the u Porpoise." 
May 2d. This morning another canoe,' manned by seven 
men and one squaw, boarded us. They brought with them 
some fish, which they readily exchanged for a few pipes and 
some tobacco. The woman was seated in the bow of the 
canoe, and was not permitted by the men to come on board. 
At 3.30 P. M. we passed Point Durigenness, a low, woody 
tongue of land. After passing this point, our progress was 
greatly impeded by a very strong ebb-tide. It run between 
three and four miles an hour. We observed as we sailed 
along this part of the coast a great number of tall poles, which 
our pilot informed me, were stuck up by the Indians for the 
purpose of suspending nets to them, in which they take geese 
and other wild fowl that frequent these shores at certain sea- 
sons of the year. About sunset we reached Port Discovery, 
and anchored for the night. Numbers of men, women and 



children came running down to the beach as soon as we made 
our entrance, and some of them got into their canoes and came 
along-side. They were no better looking nor more cleanly than 
those we had before seen, and we were very glad to purchase 
the fish they brought for sale, in order to get them out f the 
ship as soon as possible. 

This harbor is a superb one, being easy of access, free from 
rocks or shoals, eight miles long, and from- one and a half to 
two miles wide possessing the very best kind of bottom, and 
with sufficient depth of water for the largest vessel to lay 
within two hundred yards of the shore. The country in the 
vicinity is not mountainous, but rises into hills of moderate 
elevation, covered all over with pine and spruce trees of the 
largest dimensions. 

May 3d. The following General Order was issued this 
afternoon, and passed round to be read : 

" The undersigned informs the officers and crews under his 
command, that the duties upon which they are about to enter, 
will necessarily bring them at times in contact with the 
savage and treacherous inhabitants of this coast, and he there- 
fore feels it his duty, to enjoin upon them the necessity of 
unceasing caution, and a restrictive and mild sj^stem in all 
their intercourse with them. 

" In my General Orders, of July 13th, 1839, my views are 
expressed fully, respecting our intercourse with savages, and I 
expect that the instructions therein contained, will be strictly 

" With a knowledge that many of the misfortunes that have 
befallen previous voyagers on this coast, have arisen from an 
unrestrained and unguarded intercourse with the natives, he 
deems it important to order officers in charge of boats, and 


those having men under their direction, to make it their espe- 
cial duty to govern them so as to avoid any disputes, or mal- 
treatment of the Indians ; and that force is never to be 
resorted to, but in cases of self-defence. 

" No officer or man \yill be allowed to visit the shore, 
without arms ; and boats' crews upon surveying, or other 
duties, will be furnished with such as are necessary for their 

" United States ship c Vincennes,' 


We had a grand feast to-day, on fish and clams, which we 
bought from the natives along-side. The latter are not so 
large as those found on our own coast, but they are more 
tender, apd much better flavored. They may be obtained in 
any quantities, any where along the beach. The fish were of 
the .salmon and cod kinds. It is yet rather too early in the 
season for salmon, but they are very fine notwithstanding, es- 
pecially when broiled. 

May 5th. Several of the boats have been employed fo-day 
in surveying the harbor. 

In the forenoon I visited the shore. The beach abreast the 
ship was covered with Indian huts ; they were constructed in 
the rudest manner imaginable, consisting of a few mats and 
rushes spread out on poles, and offering little or no protection 
against either the wind or rain. The fire was kindled upon 
the ground near the centre, and "the interior of the building 
was filled with smoke. I was almost blinded by venturing 
into one of them, and was very glad to get out again into the 
open air. A mat or two spread on the ground near the fire, 
was used for sitting and sleeping upon. This was the only 
furniture to be seen, and the only article which could conduce 


to comfort. The owners of these wretched dwellings called 
themselves Clalams, and were the most singular looking people 
we had ever seen. The top of their heads was as flat as a 
board. ' This was caused by compression when they were very 
young. I was surprised to find them so poorly clad, in weather 
that was almost cold enough to freeze water ; none had on 
more than one blanket, and some of them were to be seen 
going about in a state of perfect nudity. I never before had 
seen a people who seemed to have so little shame. 

The children seemed to give their mothers but little trouble ; 
the infants were tied to a piece of bark which hung to a pole, 
and was kept in motion by a string fastened to the toe of the 
mother. The little creatures were perfectly naked. 

I observed the men were well supplied with muskets, fowl- 
ing pieces, and knives, which they procure from the Hudson's 
Bay Company in exchange for furs. They had also bows and 
arrows, and the latter were pointed with iron. 

The "roofs and sides of many of the huts were hung with fish, 
strung on poles or sticks. There can be no want of food 
here, as the waters abound with excellent fish, and the forest 
with game of all kinds. Deer and bear-tracks are to be seen 
in every direction, and the natives have only to go a few 
yards from their huts, to kill enough to feed on for weeks 

I spent several hours in wandering about in the neighboring 
woods. They were composed almost exclusively of pines, 
many of which were of immense diameter and height. I mea- 
sured several that were twenty -five feet in circumference, and 
upwards of two hundred feet in height. The underbrush was 
not thick, and the principal impediment to clear walking was the 
vast number of fallen trees, over which I was obliged to climb. 
I saw numerous tracks of quadrupeds and one or two flocks of 


wild geese. The natives say the proper time for killing deer 
is early in the morning, at which time they resort to the 
springs to drink. Occasionally I encountered extensive 
thickets of rose-bushes, through which some large animal ap- 
peared but recently to have passed. 

On returning to the beach I passed a burial-ground. It 
was surrounded with stakes to prevent the wild beasts from 
entering it, and the corpses instead of being interred were 
wrapped in mats, and placed upon the ground in a sitting 

May 6th. Having completed the survey of the harbor, we 
again spread our sails to the breeze and stood out into the 
Sound, followed by a great number of canoes, which had for 
sale fish, clams, and venison. We laid in a large supply of 
these ; and the articles preferred in exchange were, as usual, 
powder, fish-hooks, clothing, and paint. The fish were the 
largest we had seen of the kind some of the cod weighing be- 
tween forty and fifty pounds. Towards evening the wind 
became so light we could not stem the tide, and so we stood 
into Port Townsend, and anchored in ten fathoms water. This 
is another excellent harbor. 

A short walk from the beach here brings you to a beautiful 
lawn, ornamented with a great variety of pretty flowers. It 
extends several miles into the interior, and abounds in small 
lakes, around which hovered vast numbers of ducks and geese. 
The wood which skirts the green is composed of the same kind 
of trees as that about Port Discovery. 

The Indians inhabiting the surrounding shores are clad in 
blankets and skins of wild beasts, and appear friendly. They 
are passionately fond of smoking, and will exchange anything 
they have for pipes and tobacco. The principal ornament 
worn by the women is a round piece of white bone, of about 


two inches in length stuck through the cartilage of their 

May 7th. At 1 P. M. we proceeded to get under-way, but 
were obliged to come-to again soon after on account of light 
variable winds. Mounts Reinier and Baker are visible from 
this point. They both rise to a great altitude, arid their sum- 
mits are covered with perpetual snows. There were no natives 
to be seen at this place, nor any evidences of any ever having 
been here. The weather during the night was boisterous, 
and as the ' anchorage is not well protected, the ship rolled 
heavily, so much so that we could scarcely walk the decks. 

May 8th. Early in the morning we sent the boats out to 
survey, although the weather was by no means favorable for 
such duties. Several of the boats narrowly escaped being 
swamped. We finished about noon, when we made sail and 
beat to the southward and eastward along Admiralty Sound, 
with a fresh breeze and a heavy head-sea till about 7 P. M., 
when we again let-go our anchor within a quarter of a mile of 
the shore. The water here was deep, and the coast on either 
hand bold and rugged, and apparently uninhabited. We 
named this place Pilot Cone, from the circumstance of our 
receiving there two pilots in the employ of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, to take the Squadron up to Nisqually. 

May 10th. We have enjoyed beautiful weather all this day, 
and I cannot conceive a more magnificent picture than the 
Mountains Rainier and Olympus presented as the rising sun 
illumined their lofty peaks, and dispersed the mists that still 
floated in fleecy clouds over the tranquil valleys around their 
bases. The altitude of the latter mountain is stated to be 
eight thousand feet. At 2.30 P. M. we got under-way. The 
Sound now became quite narrow, being in some places not 
more than half a mile wide. Some Indians were observed 


to day, followed by their dogs, which were small, and had a 
head and ears strongly resembling those of the wolf. At 
sunset we came-to under the western shore to wait for day-light. 
It was a rich treat to behold the sublime prospect around 
us through all its transitions of sunshine purple hues, mellow 
twilight, and evening shades until there was nothing else to 
be seen but the dark masses of Rainier and Olympus, uplift- 
ing themselves against the clear and starry skies of this region. 

May llth. At an early hour we were out surveying as 
usual. When finished we again spread our canvas, and made 
the best of our way for Nisqually, distant about twelve miles. 
After running about an hour we reached the narrowest part of 
the Sound, which, at this point was less than 400 yards wide ; the 
shores on either side were high and precipitous, and the tide run 
like a sluice. Just before we arrived at the narrows, above 
described, we passed on our left what appeared to be a large 
arm of the Sound. We also passed several small conical- 
shaped islands. About dusk we at length reached our port, and 
anchored in twenty-two fathoms water. We found here a 
steamer belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, and kept to 
run about the coast to collect furs from the InHians. The 
Sound is here divided into a great number of arms, some a 
mile or two wide,and apparently thirty or forty miles in length. 

May 12th. Hauled- in close to the shore and moored ship, ' 
as we are to remain here some weeks, and perhaps months. 
Sent all the scientific instruments to the Observatory, except 
the pendulum. Lieutenant Johnson has been temporarily 
detached from the " Porpoise," and ordered to take charge of 
a party that is to examine the interior. Received orders to 
hold myself in readiness to proceed with Lieutenant Case to 
Hood's Canal, for the purpose of surveying the same. In the 
afternoon a large number of natives came on board, among 


them were some women, who were very good-looking and bet- 
ter dressed than any we have before seen. They came to ex- 
change some moccasins and baskets for red paint and looking 
glasses. The moccasins were neatly and even tastefully 
made, and found ready market among the officers, who wished 
to preserve them as specimens of Indian ingenuity and taste. 

July 3d. We reported our return from the so-called Hood's 
Canal, having been absent from the ship upwards of three 
weeks ; it was found to be an arm of Puget Sound. Its 
shores are nowhere more than one hundred feet in height, and 
are formed of stratified clay, with a light gravelly soil, covered 
with pine and spruce. At Tskutska Point the Canal divides 
into two branches one taking a direction nearly northerly, 
while the other pursues its course to the southwest. At the 
southern extremity of the canal there is an extensive inlet, 
called " Black Creek," by Which the Indians communicate 
with the Columbia and Chickelees Rivers. The water in the 
centre of the canal is too deep for anchorage, but there are 
several good harbors, of all of which surveys were made. 

We fell in with Indians almost every day, and had con- 
siderable intercourse with them in the way of trade they sup- 
plying us with venison and fish, and we giving them in ex- 
change powder, fish-hooks, red paint, and cotton handker- 
chiefs. The venison, in particular, was sold very cheap five 
of the ordinary musket charges of powder being the price of a 
whole carcass. 

Though these Indians seemed to understand each other, 
they informed us that they belonged to different tribes. One 
party called themselves Squamish, another Socomish, and a 
third party Toandos. The Squamish appeared to be the most 
numerous, and, according to their own account, could muster 
two hundred fighting men. The Toandos were the best-look- 


ing, and they assured us that they inhabited the mountains, 
and were now paying a visit to their friends the Soconaish. 
All these tribes, in their habits and manner of living, re- 
semble those about Nisqually. On leaving the ship we were 
warned to be on the watch for them, as they were arrant 
thieves, but I am not aware that they ever attempted to take 
anything from us, except one of the eye-pieces belonging to the 
Theodolite. This seemed to excite their attention more than 
anything else connected with the expedition, and they fre- 
quently asked us if it could speak, and whether it had not 
something to do with the " Great Spirit."* The women are 
not very good-looking, and the whole burden of domestic occu- 
pation is thrown upon them. 

They have no permanent settlements ; and there were 
several families who followed us wherever we went, and became 
familiar with some of the sailors. The men possess muskets, 
spears, and bows, and arrows. The bows are short and small, 
but have great elasticity, and when in their hands will do 
good execution. 

The Canal does not terminate where Vancouver's charts 
would lead one to suppose, but extends ten miles further to the 
northward and eastward, and approaches within two miles of 
the waters of the Puget Sound, from which point we communi- 
cated with the " Vincennes," the second week out, and obtained 
a fresh supply of bread and other provisions. There is plenty 
of fresh water along the shore, and we found several streams 
large enough to turn mills. Generally speaking, the soil is not 
rich, and the climate is similar to that experienced at this place. 

* The eye-piece was finally recovered through the kindness of Mr. Anderson, the 
principal agent of the Hudson's Bay Company at Nisqually, by threatening the tribe 
who had it, the Socomish, with the destruction of their villages and canoes, if they 
did not give it up by a certain day. 


July 5th. Yesterday was the " Glorious Fourth," but 
being also Sunday, it was very properly agreed that the cele- 
bration should be postponed until to-day ; accordingly, at an 
early hour this morning, all was bustle and preparation on 
board the ship. By nine o'clock all the crew were mustered, 
in clean white frocks and trowsers, and I was directed to take 
charge of them for the day. Soon after we landed abreast of 
the ship, and walked up to the Observatory. Here we formed 
into a procession, and marched off with drums and fifes play- 
ing, and the Star-spangled Banner waving, for Fort Nis- 
qually, Vendovi bringing up the rear. Vendovi was dressed 
" a-la-Fejee," and appeared to enjoy the occasion quite as 
much as any one present. 

On arriving abreast of the fort we halted, and gave three 
cheers, which were promptly returned by Mr. Anderson and 
people. We next marched to a piece of open ground, distant 
about half a mile from the fort. This was the place chosen 
for the dinner and amusements. There were a great many 
Indians gathered here, looking at us silently and with much 
astonishment. At the usual time, dinner was piped by the 
boatswain and his mates, and we all repaired to partake of the 
ox which had been purchased from Mr. Anderson, and bar- 
bacued for the occasion. 

So far, everything had contributed to make the day a very 
pleasant one. But as there can be no such thing as perfect 
happiness in this sublunary world of ours, so now a circum- 
stance occurred which for a time threw a gloom over the 
party. When the salute was fired, one of the men, named 
Whitehorn, had his arm seriously injured by the sudden explo- 
sion of the gun. The wound was dressed as well as it could 
be, and a litter was made, on which he was conveyed to the 
ship, under the charge of his messmates. 


When dinner was over, the amusements of the morning 
were exchanged for the excitement of horse-racing the 
horses having been engaged from the Indians for that pur- 
pose. Sailors like this sport better than almost any other, 
though very few are able to ride well ; but, on this occasion, 
fortunately, no one was hurt, although a good many were 
thrown by their steeds. 

All the officers, together with Captain McNeil, Dr. Rich- 
ards, and Mr. Henderson, dined at the Observatory, with 
Captain Wilkcs. Captain McNeil and Dr. Sicliards are 
native Americans. The Captain came here a number of 
years since, and engaged in the fur business, and succeeded so 
well in it, that the Hudson's Bay Company were glad to buy 
him off. He is now a trader in the Company's service, own- 
ing stock, and receiving a share of the dividends. He is 
married to a half-breed, and resides in the fort, with Mr. An- 

Dr. Richards is attached to the Methodist Mission, and 
appears to be a kind, gentlemanly man ; his residence is 
situated near the Observatory, and I called there, in the 
course of the afternoon, to pay my respects to his lady, who 
received me very kindly. 

The doctor informed us that the Mission had but recently 
been established, and so far, it had not been able to accom- 
plish much ; and it was his honest opinion that it never would 
answer the expectations of its friends at home. 

After the rejoicings were ended, I returned the men on 
board the ship, in the same good order as they had landed, 
and, I dare say, it will long be remembered by us all, as one 
of the most pleasant celebrations we have ever experienced. 

July 6th. We received, this morning, a visit from Dr. 
McLaughlin. The doctor is the Chief Factor and Governor 


of the Hudson's Bay Company. He left Vancouver about a 
week since, and he expressed his regrets at not being able to 
reach Nisqually in time to be present at the celebration of the 
Fourth ; he lost his way, when about a hundred miles from the 
fort. He is a tall, dignified-looking man, with a fair com- 
plexion, and I should judge his age to be nearly seventy. 
He is of Scotch extraction, but by birth a Canadian. He 
has been in the employ of the Company upwards of forty 
years, and is said to be pre-eminently fitted for the situation 
he occupies, being a man of great energy of character, and 
much talent. 

Captain Wilkes conducted him around the ship, and he 
seemed much pleased. 

On his leaving, to return to the shore, the yards were 
manned, and three cheers were given him, in a manner which 
showed that we appreciated his kindness towards us; they 
were three very hearty cheers. 

July 16th. To-day, Mr. Johnson and party returned from 
the interior. They speak favorably of the country passed 
over, and of the Indians they fell in with. At a place called 
Chimikane, they found two missionaries, Messrs. Walker 
and Eel, whose labors had been attended with remarkable 
success. Among other duties, they had taught the Indians 
the art of cultivation, and many of them now subsist entirely 
on the produce which they raise on their lands. 

As nothing has yet been heard from the " Peacock," which, 
on leaving the Sandwich Islands, was ordered to visit the 
King's Mill Group, and then meet the rest of the squadron 
at the Columbia River, fears are entertained by many, that 
she has met with some serious accident. 




JULY 17th. I received orders to-day, to join Mr. Eld in 
an expedition, which has for its object, the exploration and 
survey of Chickelees River and Grey's Harbor. These 
orders came rather unexpectedly, and at a very late hour. 
The ship was already under-way, and I was at my station, 
when I received them. It seems, that when the expedition 
was first planned by Captain Wilkes, he designed having Lieu- 
tenant Johnson take charge of it, and Mr. Eld to accompany 
him as his assistant ; but Mr. Johnson found fault with his 
written instructions, whereupon Captain Wilkes took the com- 
mand from him, and gave it to Mr. Eld, and I am ordered 
to fill Mr. Eld's former place. 

As soon as I was able to get together my instruments and 
bedding, we shoved off from the ship, and landed on the beach 
at the foot of Nisqually Hill, where we pitched our tents for 
the night, as it was almost sunset before we left the vessel, 
and we had considerable to do before we could proceed on our 
journey. Among other things, it was absolutely necessary 
we should see Mr. Anderson, as he was to supply us with the 
" trade" which we required, to make our purchases from the 
Indians. Indeed, our instructions do not require us to leave 
Nisqually before the 19th instant. The following are the 
other individuals composing the party : Mr. Brackenridge, 
assistant botanist, sergeant Stearns, two marines, named 


Dismond and Rogers, two sailors by the names of Brooks and 
Ford, and a half-breed boy, named Joseph, who is to act as 

About the time we reached the shore, we saw the "Vin- 
cennes"* weigh her anchor, and stand clown the Sound ; the 
breeze was favorable, and having all sails set, we soon lost 
sight of her. 

8 P. M., we have just seen a Squaw Chief, of the Sachal 
tribe, who has promised to meet us at the first " Portage," 
and act as our guide to the Sachal River. 

At early daylight Mr. Eld and myself walked up to the 
fort, and handed Mr. Anderson a list of the articles of trade 
required, which he at once directed to be put up, and con- 
veyed to our tents. After this we went, by invitation, on 
board the Company's schooner, and breakfasted with her com- 
mander, Captain Scarborough, whom we found to be a very 
intelligent man, and from whom we received a good deal of 
information, respecting the Company's affairs. From the 
schooner, we returned to Nisqually, to take leave of Mr. An- 
derson and Captain McNeil ; after which, we repaired to the 
beach, caused the tents to be struck, and in a few minutes 
more we were On our way to the first Portage. We had not 
proceeded far, however, before we discovered that both our 
canoes were leaking in all directions, and in order to prevent 
their being swamped, it was necessary to keep one man in 
each, constantly bailing. Everything fore and aft was wet 
through, and the bread and flour were almost ruined. Owing 
to this circumstance, which of course, checked our progress, 
we have not been able to reach the first Portage to-day, as we 
had hoped doing when we first set out. 

It is not very probable that we shall have occasion again, to 

* She left for San Francisco, California. 


return to Nisqually. I will, therefore, here offer all the addi- 
tional observations which I have to make, regarding it. Its 
situation is a bad one for trade, as the anchorage is so small 
that only a few vessels can be accommodated within a proper 
distance from the shore ; and the long hill which it is neces- 
sary to ascend, in order to get to the fort, is a serious objec- 
tion to its becoming a place of deposit for merchandize, as it 
would very much increase the labor and expense of transporta- 
tion. Many better places than Nisqually could be found, for 
a location of a town in the same part of the Sound, and it is a 
matter of wonder to me, why they were not preferred. 

The fort is constructed of pickets, inclosing an area of 
about two hundred and fifty feet square, with four corner bas- 
tions. Within this space are the Agent's stores, and about 
half-a-dozen log-houses. The fort, when constructed, was 
thought to be large enough, but since it has become an agri- 
cultural post, as well as a trading one, it is found too small, 
and Mr. Anderson thought it would be enlarged in the course 
of a year or tw.o. I was in the garden several times, and 
found it to be under good cultivation ; the onions, turnips, 
peas, &c., &c., all looked very thriving. 

The surrounding country is said to be very healthy, and 
the winter to be mild and of short duration. The Indians in 
the neighborhood are not numerous, perhaps the whole num- 
ber not exceeding three hundred. They belong to the tribes 
who compress their heads, and they are vicious and exceed- 
ingly lazy ; I have frequently gone into their tents in the 
middle .of the day, and found every member of the family 
asleep. They are also inveterate gamblers, carrying the vice 
to the extent of staking their wives and children, and even 
themselves, for years of slavery ! their clothing consists of a 
blanket, a pair of skin breeches, and moccasins. 


They are all of wandering habits, and change their resi- 
dences in search of their food, which consist, principally, of 
fish and clams ; the latter may be seen in great quantities in 
their tents, strung on sticks, upon which they have been pre- 
served by smoking and drying. They likewise store up for 
winter use the camass root and smoked salmon ; but generally, 
however, they are not well fed, as they are too lazy to exert 
themselves for a supply of food, unless they are in actual want. 

In the winter several families live together in lodges con- 
structed of plank ; when warm weather returns they break 
up, and resort in small parties to those places where they can 
obtain their food most easily. They all understand the Che- 
nook language, but when speaking to each other, they use a lan- 
guage which they call their own, and which differs materially 
from the Chenook. 

The mean temperature during our stay was found to be 59, 
and during the same period, the barometer averaged 29.30 

The following morning, at the request of Mr. Eld, I pro- 
ceeded to the portage, for the purpose of seeing the Chief Squaw 
before mentioned, and making arrangements with her for 
Indians and horses to carry the party across the Portage. I 
arrived there after a pull of ten or fifteen minutes, and shortly 
after saw an Indian, who informed me that he had been sent 
by the chief woman to say, that she could not afford us the 
promised assistance that day, but would to-morrow without 
fail. I requested the Indian to show me to her house, as I 
imagined that by seeing her in person I could persuade her to 
change her mind, but he assured me that she was absent, and 
would not return home until late in the evening. It was vex- 
atious to meet with so many impediments at the very outset 
of the expedition. 


On the following day we made an early start, and by 8 
o'clock we reached the Portage. The chief woman was there 
awaiting us, with her horses, five in number ; they were large 
fine-looking animals, and in excellent condition, which is not 
generally the case with Indian horses. She also brought with 
her ten men, who were to assist in carrying the small canoe. 
The large one, she declared, was too heavy to transport, and 
if we would let her have it, she would give us a smaller one 
in return, when we arrived at the Sachal River, which offer we 
very thankfully accepted. In less than an hour all the ar- 
rangements had been completed, and we proceeded on our 
journey, the Indians bringing up the rear. 

It is due to the Chief Squaw to say, that we owe this dis- 
patch principally to her ; though her husband was present, 
she made all the bargains, and gave the Indians their direc- 
tions. She is a woman of great energy of character, and 
exercises greater authority over those around her than any 
man chief I have met with since I have been in the country. 
She is about fifty years of age, and dresses very neat for an 
Indian woman. 

We were three hours in accomplishing the Portage. It is 
between four and five miles long, over a gently rising country 
thickly covered with maple and spruce trees. The soil is com- 
posed of vegetable mould, and seemed to be entirely free from 
rocks or stones. 

Soon after passing the Portage, we came to a small lake, 
called by the Indians, Sachal, which we examined and found 
to be three miles in circumference. The soil around it was 
light brown, sandy loam, and the forest extends down to the 
water's edge. In the deepest part of the lake,- the water 
appears to have a reddish tinge, but on examining it in a tum- 
bler, it looked as clear as crystal. The Indians informed us, 


that there was another lake to the northeast, and next day 
Mr. Eld and myself set out to visit it. We arrived there 
after a walk of several hours, and the supposed lake proved 
so insignificant as to hardly deserve the name of a pond ; 
it was not more than one hundred and fifty yards in diame- 
ter, nor more than four feet deep, and was overspread with 
water lilies, 

On our return we struck the tents, and, embarking in our 
canoes on Lake Sachal, we steered for its southern end, where 
we entered the river bearing the same name. We now made 
very slow progress, owing to the sinuosity of the river and a 
variety of other obstructions. Every few minutes we either 
came in contact with drift-wood, or became entangled among 
the branches of trees and bushes, covering the banks of the 
river, and from which it was impossible to clear ourselves 
otherwise than by cutting them down with our hatchets. 

We lost some time also through a trick played us by two 
Indians, who had been following us for some time in a small 
canoe, and were anxious to pass us. Having come where the 
river branched off, we were unable to decide which way our 
course lay. We therefore inquired of the Indians in the 
canoe, and they motioned to us to turn off to the right ; we did 
as they directed ; but after pulling for more than an hour, we 
met other Indians, who assured us that we were steering the 
wrong way, and offered to accompany us back to the main 
stream, and put us in the proper course, an offer which we 
very gladly accepted. We did not at first like the idea of 
being thus outwitted by savages, but, after awhile, when all 
.the trouble of getting right again was over, we were willing to 
admit that it was a capital joke, and perhaps had as many a 
good laugh over it as the Indians themselves. 

It was past 9 o'clock when we stopped to encamp, and still 


we found that we were only six miles from where we entered 
the river. 

At an early hour the following day we were again under- 
way. The drift-wood was still very plentiful, so much so, 
that in one place the stream was completely choked up by it, 
and we were compelled to land and carry our canoes around 
the place. On re-embarking, we used poles in lieu of paddles, 
and found it a more successful mode of navigating the river. 
About sunset we reached the town belonging to the Sachal 
tribe of Indians, and we concluded to stop and spend the night 
with them. 

After supper, Mr. Eld proceeded to visit the chief of the 
town. He received him kindly, and gave him considerable in- 
formation respecting his own people and other Indian tribes. 
Mr. E. was desirous that he should accompany us down the 
river, but he declined, giving, as a reason, that we should soon 
meet the Chenooks who were a " bad people," and he was 
afraid to go among them. According to the chief's account, 
the Sachals are not more than forty in number, and live chiefly 
on the camass root and salmon, which fish they capture in 
great quantities in the rivers Sachal and Ghickelees. They 
have tents similar to those of the Indians in Puget Sound, but 
they appeared more cleanly and industrious than the tribes of 
that region. 

The country about this town afforded good pasturage, and 
we observed numbers of horses grazing. At sunrise we re- 
sumed our course. The river now had more breadth, and the 
country on each side became quite interesting ; it presented 
an undulating surface, and was well wooded. In the afternoon 
we were compelled to make two long portages, in order to pass 
portions of the river which were filled with rapids and bars. 
In making these portages we observed several deserted huts. 


About 5 P. M., we were overtaken and passed by our old 
friend, the Squaw Chief, and her husband. She informed us 
that they were going to pay a visit to a sister, who was residing 
on the banks of the Chapel River. Her canoe was large and 
handsomely painted, and was paddled by five slaves, two of 
whom were women. The following night was a pleasant one, 
and Mr. Eld and I availed ourselves of it to obtain observa- 
tions for ascertaining our latitude and longitude. 

The next day (25th) we arrived at the point where the 
Sachal and the Chickelees unite, and we encamped on the 
banks of the latter stream. The country, as far as we could 
see, appeared to be well adapted for cultivation, and we 
observed for the first time since leaving Sachal Lake, some 
large stones or rocks. 

About dusk we had a visit from some Chenooks, who had 
encamped three or four miles further down the river. We 
had attracted their attention, they said, by the smoke of our 
fires, and at first supposed us to be some of their own people. 
They were all young and rather good- looking, and much better 
dressed than any Indians we had yet met on the route. 

At early dawn the following day, Mr. Eld, with sergeant 
Stearns, Brooks, and the interpreter, Joe, set out to examine 
the Chalap, a branch of the Chickelees. They were absent 
two days and a part of a third, during which time I remained 
with the rest of the party at the same encampment. The 
weather continued pleasant, and Mr. Brackenridge made 
several botanic excursions. He spoke favorably of the country, 
and thought it well adapted to yield crops of corn and wheat. 
In the course of the second day several Indian families visited 
us, and we bought from them a quantity of smoked salmon and 
some blackberries, which are found in great abundance in the 
neighboring prairies. These Indians behaved very properly, 


with the exception of two girls, who could not have been more 
than fourteen years of age. That they were ladies of easy 
virtue, no one, I think, could deny, who had an opportunity of 
witnessing their conduct. 

Shortly after Mr. Eld took his departure, one of the men 
who remained with me reported that he had just come in from 
a short walk, and had found a place where there were a num- 
ber of Indian images. I repaired to the place with him ; it 
was a small pine grove, situated not many yards distant from 
the encampment. The images were six in number, cut out of 
plank, and painted with a kind of red pigment. Some of the 
figures had two heads, one above the other, and one appeared 
to be intended as a representation of the Sun. We had met 
with nothing of the kind before, and we could learn nothing 
now on the subject from the Indians who visited us. There is 
reason, however, to believe that they had something to do with 
their notions on religion. Mr. Eld found the Sachal to be a 
small stream, and utterly impenetrable on account of the 
bushes and a kind of long grass overgrowing it ; he was therefore 
obliged to leave his canoe and take horses. His guide turned out 
to be a grand scoundrel, and he caught him in the act of steal- 
ing a blanket and some other property, belonging to the party. 

On the first day out he met some Indians of the Squa.mish 
tribe, who were anxious that he should encamp with them, but 
as he saw enough of their character to convince him that they 
were not to be trusted, he declined the invitation, and went on 
some distance further. He also kept strict guard during the 
night. He passed over some flats, but, generally speaking, 
his route lay through a rough, hilly country, thickly covered 
with pine, several of which he measured and found to be up- 
wards of two hundred feet in height, and from twelve to 
eighteen in circumference. 


On Mr. Eld's return to the camp, the whole party again 
embarked, and steered down the Chickelees. After a pull of 
a few miles, the banks of the river on both sides became higher 
and so steep as to render it quite difficult to land. The " log" 
was thrown frequently to ascertain the strength of the current, 
which was found to be one-eighth of a mile per hour. We 
met this day only two Indians. They were Chickelees ; yet, 
when the interpreter asked them some questions in their 
tongue, respecting the navigation of the river further down, 
they pretended not to understand him, and their whole bearing 
went to show that they were not kindly disposed toward us. 

We encamped this day on the left bank of the river, and 
could hear very distinctly the sound of breakers, a circum- 
stance which convinced us that we must be near the sea-coast. 

At 9 A. M. the following morning, we resumed our course 
down the river. For two or three miles the channel was 
nearly of the same breadth as it was on the preceding day, 
but after that it became several hundred feet wider. The 
country, as far as the eye could see, varied in character that 
on the left bank was low, with only here and there a tree 
that on the right bank, high and well wooded. 

At length, at 9.30 A. M. we made our entrance into Grey's 
Harbor. It had been our intention to -encamp on the south- 
eastern shore, that being near the scene of our operations ; 
but the wind, sea, and tide, all three being against us, it was 
impossible to make any progress. Indeed, my own canoe came 
very near swamping, several times. We therefore bore away 
for the southwest, or lee shore, where we finally succeeded in 
effecting a landing, but found it an exceedingly uncomfortable 
position. It was an extensive bed of brush, roots, and half- 
decayed logs, that had been thrown up by the tides. Not- 
withstanding this, we would have been compelled to remain 


there, that night at least, had it not been for the Chief Woman 
I have before so often mentioned. Knowing all the while 
which way we were bound, she had for some days past been 
looking out for us, and now that she beheld us in this pitiable 
situation, she hastened to our assistance. " I come," said 
she, " expressly to convey you to the opposite shore, where 
you will find a suitable place for encampment, and also be less 
exposed to the wind." We, of course, accepted the offer, 
and I at once transferred all my things to her canoe, and Mr. 
Eld did the same with a portion of his baggage ; with this 
reinforcement, and partly by keeping before the sea, we made 
very good weather, and at last reached the opposite shore, 
where we found quite a large encampment of Chickelee 

So soon as the tents were erected, Mr. Eld and myself 
went among the Indians, for the express purpose of nego- 
tiating for a canoe, to take the party around to the Columbia 
River. After going about some time, I found an Indian, who 
said that he had a large canoe, which he would sell me, and 
take his pay at Fort George, as he wanted to be paid in blan- 
kets, an article which we had not with us. I went with him 
to examine it ; it was sufficiently capacious, and nearly new, 
and I told him that he might consider the bargain closed, and 
I proceeded to give directions about having the canoe launched. 
It had hardly reached the water, however, when he told the 
interpreter to say that he was not satisfied with my terms, 
and the canoe could not be taken away unless I would pay for 
it on the spot. The reason why I could not pay down, was 
again stated to him, but to no purpose ; and as Mr. Eld had 
been equally unsuccessful in his negotiations, we concluded to 
let the matter drop for that day, and return to our encamp- 
ment. No one who has not had dealings with these people, 


can form any idea of the degree of patience it requires, to 
get along with them ; they are as changeable as children, and 
the word " honor" seems not to be in their vocabulary. 

After breakfast, next day, I went again to the Indian en- 
campment, to see about purchasing a canoe, and succeeded, 
finally, in procuring one from a Chief. I likewise succeeded 
in engaging six men, who promised to remain with us until we 
reached Astoria. And to make them still more contented, I 
gave them /leave to take their wives with them. 

On returning to the camp, I proceeded to get my instru- 
ments, and then went in search of Mr. Eld, who, I under- 
stood, had commenced operations at the opposite side of the 
harbor. Not being able, however, to find him, I went on sur- 
veying alone ; at length I saw a canoe at a distance, which I 
supposed to be his. Accordingly, I at once put up the instru- 
ments, and directed the Indians to pull for the canoe ; instead 
of doing this, however, they commenced complaining, and 
finally pulled in for the camp. Here they disembarked, and 
declared that they would not remain in our employ another 
minute, if I did not give them some powder and tobacco, which 
I positively refused to do. The women now commenced to 
pack up their things, and carry them towards the canoe, a 
circumstance which induced rne to believe that the party 
intended to take the canoe, and return to their encampment. 
I therefore directed sergeant Stearns to seize the mens' mus- 
kets, and put them in one of the tents. This the sergeant 
did, but the moment we turned our backs to the tents, one of 
the Indians drew his knife, rushed into them, and brought out 
the guns, one of which he handed to a woman. After a short 
struggle, we succeeded in retaking the muskets, upon which 
an Indian, who acted as spokesman to the party, came up, and 
said that they intended to adhere strictly to the bargain which 


they had made with me in the morning, and were ready to go 
to work at any moment I thought proper. I told them it was 
my wish, they should go forthwith ; the order was obeyed, 
and I directed them to pull for the place, where I thought I 
had seen Mr. Eld. The canoe, however, had not proceeded 
more than two hundred yards, when they began to raise new 
objections one complained of being sick, another that he was 
very hungry, and a third said that he had a sister, who was 
unwell, and he must go and see her before he could go any 
further. I reminded them of their promises, and even offered 
to make them a present, if they would go on, but to no pur- 
pose. They ran down to their encampment, and when abreast 
of it, stood in. On reaching the beach, they landed, and then 
hauled up the canoe, and I expected nothing less, than being 
told that I was to consider myself their prisoner. Such, how- 
ever, was not the case ; they said nothing about my remaining 
with them ; and when I remarked that I wished to return to 
our camp, they even furnished me with a small canoe, to ferry 
me over the stream, which separated the two encampments. 

The following day, the owners of the muskets came to the 
camp, and begged that they might be returned to them, and 
we finally yielded to their wishes. Owing partly to these 
troubles with the Indians, and partly to bad weather, we had 
made but little progress in the survey of the harbor as yet. 
Some days it stormed so furiously, that we could not venture 
out at all. 

On the 6th of August, we shifted our camp about six miles 
toward the Capes. After staying here a few days we selected 
another place at the South Head. Our greatest difficulty now 
was the want of provisions. All our stores had been exhausted, 
and for some days past we had been living on dead fish we 
picked up on the beach, and some camrnass root which we had 


bought from the Indians. This state of things lasted until the 
13th of August, when Lieutenant De Haven who had been 
sent by Captain Wilkes to afford us relief, arrived with a 
supply of provisions. This enabled us to go on our usual ration, 
and in a few days we all regained our strength, and were able 
to proceed with our surveying duties. 

From Mr. De Haven we learned for the first time the loss 
of the " Peacock" on the bar off the mouth of the Columbia 

On the* 24th the survey was completed, and we set out for 
Astoria, where the Squadron was now lying. 

The soil in the vicinity of Grey's Harbor is of an inferior 
quality, and the harbor itself seems to offer but few facilities 
for commercial purposes. The channel is narrow, the width 
being from one-half to two-thirds of a mile, with dangerous 
breakers on both sides. The depth of water is from five to 
seven fathoms. The space after entering is extensive, but the 
greatest part of it is filled up with mud flats which are bare at 
low water, and confine the harbor for the anchorage of vessels 
to a few hundred yards. The River Chickelees before enter- 
ing into the harbor, increases in width some six or seven hun- 
dred feet and is navigable for vessels drawing ten or twelve 
feet of water for several miles above its mouth. 

Fogs prevail in the summer season, and some days during 
our stay we found them so dense as to render it impossible for 
us to proceed with our surveying duties. 

The tides are irregular and influenced by the winds ; the 
time of high water at change and full was found to be 11 
hours 25 minutes. 

The Indians, who inhabit the shores of the harbor, call them- 
selves Chickelees, and their number is about two hundred ; 
they construct their huts after the manner of the Sqnamish 


tribe, and, like them, live principally by fishing. We found 
them well supplied with blankets, muskets and knives. They 
are excessively fond of tobacco, and invariably swallow the 
smoke, and oftentimes retain it so long in the stomach as to 
throw them into convulsions. They enjoy high reputation as 
warriors, for which reason they are much dreaded by their 
neighbors, the Sachals and Sachaps, who are of a more peace- 
able character. Their amusements are similar to those of the 
tribes residing about Nisqually. 

On the day of our departure (24th) for Astoria, the surf ran 
very high, and our Indians* instead of paddling the canoes 
preferred tracking them along the beach inside of the surf. 
This is the mode they always adopt when they are journeying 
along the coast, to prevent accidents from the surf, of which 
they have great dread. We made very good progress, and 
at sunset arrived within fifteen miles of Shoal- Water Bay. 
Near this day's encampment we found a Chickelees Chief who 
sold us another canoe, and who promised to act as our guide 
around to the Columbia. 

About noon next day, we reached Shoal- Water Bay. Here, 
by reason of not understanding the guide, Mr. Eld and my- 
self separated, he pursuing the course leading to the eastern 
Portage, I the one leading to the western, and did not see each 
other again until we arrived on board the " Flying Fish." 
The western Portage is the one preferred by the Indians ; it 
is between four and five miles long, and lays through a flat 
marshy country. 

On the 27th, the schooner got under- way and landed us at 
Astoria, where we received written orders from Captain 
Wilkes, requiring us to join him at Vancouver. 

* The day previous to our leaving Grey's Harbor, Mr. Eld succeeded in engaging 
six Indians who were to take us as far as Shoal- Water Bay. 


At Astoria, we had the pleasure of meeting the " Peacock's" 
officers and crew, who appeared to be in good health and fine 
spirits, and all spoke of the kind treatment they had received 
from Mr. Birnie, the agent of the Hudson's Bay Company at 
Astoria, and I take this occasion to say, that his treatment to 
Mr. Eld and myself also, was such as to merit our warmest 
thanks. From what I could learn, both from officers and 
crew, I inferred, that the loss of the " Peacock" was an una- 
voidable occurrence, and that through the whole disaster, Cap- 
tain Hudson's behavior had been that of a good officer and 
an able seaman. 

During our stay at Astoria I also had the pleasure of be- 
coming acquainted with an American missionary and his lady, 
Mr. and Mrs. Smith. They had arrived in the country two 
years previous with a party which crossed the Rocky Moun- 
tains, and, for the last fifteen months, had been stationed at 
a place called Kamia. But the Indians having left there, and 
the climate not agreeing with Mrs. Smith's health, they had 
determined to leave the country and proceed to the Sandwich 
Islands ; they expected to sail in a few days for Oahoo. They 
both gave very unfavorable accounts of the Indians among 
whom they had been residing, and deemed it quite useless to 
send missionaries among them. 

Astoria is situated on the south bank of the Columbia 
River, and distant about fifteen miles from Cape Disappoint- 
ment. The location is a beautiful one ; it forms the crest of 
a hill which rises some hundred feet above the level of the 
river, and in pleasant weather, the waters of the^ Pacific 
Ocean, Point Ellice, Tongue Point, Katolamet Range, with 
many other striking objects, are in sight. 

As for the town, it is a sorry one. Indeed, ever since the 
period fixed on by the Hudson's Bay Company to make Van- 


couver the principal trading port, Astoria has been suffered 
to decline ; and, now, all it can boast of is some half-dozen log 
houses, and as many shades, which, of course, is a great falling 
off, if the accounts of its former size and prosperity be true. 

There are many Indians hanging round Astoria ; most of 
them belong to the Clatsop tribe, whose principal town is 
situated near Point Adams. They have an American mis- 
sionary among them, by the name of Frost, and I should judge 
they had need for many more, for certainly they are the most 
degraded set of beings we have seen since our arrival in the 
country. They will sell anything they have for rum, and while 
it lasts they are never sober ; they are likewise much addicted 
to lying and stealing. It is also said of them that they are very 
belligerent ; there is scarcely a tribe on the coast with which 
they are on friendly terms. A white man, however, can 
travel through any part of their territory quite as safely as he 
can in any other, for the Hudson's Bay Company are sure to 
punish all murders, or robberies, with death ; and the severity, 
as well as the certainty of the punishment, is sufficient to pre- 
vent the commission of such crimes more frequently than they 
occur in civilized countries. About a year since, a white man 
was murdered for his property by a slave belonging to a Chief; 
the instant the murder was made known to the Company, the 
slave was seized, and hung in presence of all the tribe. 

We performed our jaunt to Vancouver in a flat-bottomed 
barge, furnished by Mr. Birnie. These boats are, from their 
light draft of water, exceedingly well adapted for the naviga- 
tion of the river. They are used by the Company to carry 
freight up and down the river, and are capable of carry iug 
large cargoes, and when well-manned can make quite as much 
headway as a canoe. 

The breadth of the river gradually diminishes as you ap- 


proach Vancouver, and at the lowest ebb the channel is deep 
enough for vessels drawing fourteen feet water. The current 
does not appear to be very strong, and the water as it flow's 
past looks turbid, but when it is taken up, it is perfectly clear. 
The country on both sides rises gradually to the height of 
some thousand feet, and is well timbered. /We saw on both 
banks many Indian villages, some of which were at the time 
without inhabitants. This last feature was attributed to the 
ravages of the fever and ague, and the appearance of the bury- 
ing-grounds in the vicinity served to confirm the statement ; 
they were large, and thickly studded with graves. /The first 
case of the kind occurred in the year 1830, when an European 
vessel, commanded by Captain Dominis, was lying at anchor 
in the river, and the Indians have always believed that he 
brought the disease among them. In the opinion of the phy- 
sicians of the Hudson's Bay Company, the disease would not 
prove so fatal if they would adopt the European mode of 
treating it, but this they will not do ; they prefer their own 
treatment, which consists in taking a series of cold baths. 
The manner of disposing of the dead does not appear to be the 
same at alb the burial grounds. In some, the coffins (which 
were canoes planked over) rested on limbs of trees, while in 
others they stand in an upright position, with about one-third 
of their length buried in the ground. The coffins are all 
painted red, the favorite color, and have hung around them 
mats, baskets, bows and arrows ; in short, everything supposed 
to be of use to the departed on their journey to the world of 
Spirits and future Hunting Grounds. * 

On the third day out, about 4 P. M., we passed the brig 
" Porpoise," employed in surveying the river, and in about 
half an hour more we landed at Vancouver, and reported 
to Captain Wilkes, who congratulated us upon our safe 


return, and also complimented us upon the result of our 

On leaving Captain W. we took a walk in and about the 
famous fort, and then repaired on board the " Porpoise." 

September 1st. This morning I received other orders, 
namely, to be ready to join the Overland Expedition to Cali- 
fornia, commanded by Lieutenant Emmons. It is already or- 
ganized and encamped on the banks of the Willamette River, 
and will, I am informed, consist, besides myself, of the follow- 
ing individuals : Lieutenant Emmons, Mr. Eld, Dr. Whittle ; 
Mr. Peale, naturalist ; Mr. Rich, botanist ; Mr. Dana, geolo- 
gist ; Mr. A. T. Agate, artist ; Mr. Brackenridge, assistant- 
botanist ; sergeant Stearns ; corporal Hughes ; privates Smith 
and Marsh ; seamen Sutton, Doughty, Merza, Wai than ; 
Batist Guardipee, guide. 

I understand the object of the Expedition originally was to 
explore the country as far as the Shaste Mountains, and then 
return to Vancouver by a different route. 

Mr. Emmons is here attending to the procuring of stores, 
and will return to the camp to-morrow. 

The following sketch of a life at Vancouver, by one who 
spent some weeks there, may be interesting : 

" Fort Vancouver is the depot at which are brought the furs 
collected west of the Rocky Mountains, and from which they 
are shipped to England, and also the place at which all the 
goods for the trade are landed, and from which they are 
distributed to the various posts of that territory by vessels, 
batteaux, or pack^nimals, as the various routes permit. It 
was established by Governor Simpson in 1824, as the great 
centre of all commercial operations in Oregon ; is situated in a 
beautiful plain on the north bank of the Columbia, ninety 
miles from the sea, and stands 400 yards from the water's 


side. The noble river before it, is 1670 yards wide, and from 
five to seven fathoms in depth. The whole surrounding coun- 
try is covered with forests of pine, cedar, fir, &c., interspersed 
here and there with small open spots, all overlooked by the 
vast snowy pyramids of the President's Range, 35 miles in 
the east. 

" The fort itself, is an oblong square, 250 yards in length, 
by 150 in breadth, inclosed by pickets, twenty feet in height. 
The area within is divided into two courts, around which are 
arranged thirty-five wooden buildings, used as officers' dwell- 
ings, lodging apartments for clerks, store-houses for furs, 
goods and grains, and as workshops for carpenters, black- 
smiths, coopers, turners, wheelwrights, &c. The building near 
the rear gate, is occupied as a school-house ; and a brick 
structure as a powder magazine. 

" Six hundred yards below the fort, and on the bank of the 
river, is a village of fifty-three log houses ; in these live the 
Company's servants ; among them is a Hospital, in which those 
of them who become diseased, are humanely treated. Back 
and a little east of the fort, is a barn, containing a mammoth 
threshing-machine, and near this are a number of long sheds, 
used for storing grain in the sheaf. And behold the Vancou- 
rer farm, stretching up and down the river, three thousand 
acres, fenced into beautiful fields, sprinkled with dairy-houses 
and herdsmen's and shepherd's cottages ! A busy place is 
this. The farmer on horseback at break of day, summons 
one hundred half-breeds and Iriquois Indians from their cabins 
to the fields; twenty or thirty ploughs tear open the gene- 
rous soil ; the sowers follow with their seed, and pressing on 
them, come a dozen harrows to cover it. And thus thirty or 
forty acres are planted in a day, till the immense farm is 
under crop. The season passes on, teeming with daily in- 


dustry, until the harvest waves on all these fields. And then 
sickle and hoe glisten in tireless activity, to gather in the rich 
reward of this toil the food of seven hundred people at this 
post, and of thousands more at the posts on the deserts in the 
east and north. The saw-mill, too, is a scene of constant toil ; 
thirty or forty Sandwich Islanders are felling the pines, and 
dragging them to the mill; sets of hands are playing two 
gangs of saws by night arid day ; three thousand feet of lum- 
ber per day 900,000 feet per annum constantly being 
shipped to foreign ports. The grist-mill is not idle ; it must 
furnish bread-stuffs for the posts and the Russian market 
in the northwest ; and its deep music is heard daily and 
nightly, half the year. 

" But we will enter the fort. The blacksmith is repairing 
ploughshares, harrow-teeth, chains, and mill-irons ; the tin- 
man is making cups for the Indians, and camp-kettles, &c. ; 
the wheelwright is making wagons, and the wood part of 
plough sand harrows; the carpenter is repairing houses and 
building new ones ; the cooper is making barrels, for pickling 
salmon and packing furs ; the clerks are posting books and 
preparing the annual returns to the board in London ; the 
salesmen are receiving beaver, and dealing out goods. But, 
hear the voices of those children from the school-house ! they 
are the half-breed offspring of the gentlemen and servants of 
the Company, educated at the Company's expense, prepara- 
tory to being apprenticed to trades in Canada; they learn the 
English language, writing, arithmetic, and geography. The 
gardener, too, is singing out his honest satisfaction, as he sur- 
veys from the north gate, ten acres of apple-trees, laden 
with fruit, his bowers of grape-vines, his beds of vegetables, 
and flowers. The bell rings for dinner ; we will see the ' hall,' 
and its convivialities. 


u The diiiing-hall is a spacious room, on the second floor, 
ceiled with pine above and at the sides. In the southwest 
corner of it, is a large close stove sending out sufficient caloric 
to make it comfortable. 

" At the end of a table, twenty feet in length, stands Gov- 
ernor McLaughlin, directing guests and gentlemen from neigh- 
boring posts, to their places ; and chief- traders, traders, the 
physician, clerks, and the farmers, slide respectfully to their 
places, at distances from the Governor, corresponding to the 
dignity of their rank in the service; thanks are given to God, 
and all are seated. Roast beef and pork, boiled mutton, 
baked salmon, boiled ham, beets, carrots, turnips, cabbage 
arid potatoes, and wheaten bread, are tastefully distributed 
over the table, among a dinner-set of elegant Queen's ware, 
burnished with glittering glasses, and decanters of various 
colored Italian wines. Course after course goes round, and 
the Governor fills to his guests and friends, and each gentle- 
man in turn vies with him, in diffusing around the board, a 
most generous allowance of viands, wines, and warm fellow- 
feeling. The cloth and wines are removed together, cigars 
arc lighted, and a strolling smoke about the premises, en- 
livened by a courteous discussion of some mooted point of 
natural history, or politics, closes the ceremonies of the din- 
ner-hour at Fort Vancouver. These are some of the inci- 
dents' of life at Vancouver." 




" Take the wings 

Of morning, and the Barcan desert pierce, 
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods 
Where rolls the .Oregon, and hears no sound 
Save his own dashings." 

NORTHWESTERN AMERICA is divided from the other por- 
tions of the Continent, by the Rocky Mountains, which extend 
throughout its entire length, in a north-westerly direction, in 
continuation of the Mexican Andes, to the shores of the 
Arctic Ocean. Between this great chain of mountains and 
the Pacific Ocean, a most ample territory extends, which may 
be regarded as divided into three great districts. The most 
southerly of these, of which the northern boundary line was 
drawn along the parallel of 42, by the Treaty of Washing- 
ton, in 1819, belong to Mexico. The most northerly, com- 
mencing at Behring's Straits, and of which the extreme 
southern limit was fixed at the southernmost point of Prince 
of Wales Island, in the parallel of 54 40' north, by treaties 
concluded between Russia and the United States of America, 
in 1824, and between Russia and Great Britain, in 1825, 
forms a part of the dominions of Russia ; whilst the interme- 
diate country is not as yet under the sovereignty of any power. 

To this intermediate territory, different names have been 
assigned. To the portion of the coast, between the parallels 


of 43 and 48, the British have applied the name of New 
Albion. Since the expedition of Sir Francis Drake, in 1578- 
'80, and the British Government, in the instructions furnished 
by the Lords of the Admiralty, in 1776, to Captain Cook, 
directed him to proceed to the coast of New Albion, endea- 
voring to fall in with it in the latitude of 45.* At a later 
period, Vancouver gave the name of New Georgia to the 
coast between 50 and 54, whilst to the entire country, north 
of New Albion, between 48 and 56 30', from the Rocky 
Mountains to the sea, British traders have given the name of 
New Caledonia, ever since the Northwest Company formed an 
establishment on the western side of the Rocky Mountains, in 
1806. The Spanish government, on the other hand, in the 
course of the negotiations with the British government, which 
ensued upon the seizure of the British vessels in Nootka 
Sound, and terminated in the Convention of the Escurial, in 
1790, designated the entire territory as " the Coast of Cali- 
fornia in the South Sea." 

If we adopt the more extensive use of the term Oregonf 

* See Cook's Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, 1782. 

t The authority for the use of the word Oregon, or Oregan, has not been clearly 
ascertained, hut the majority of writers agree in referring the introduction of the 
name to Carver's Travels. Jonathan Carver, a native of Connecticut, set out from 
Boston, in 1766, soon after the transfer of Canada to Great Britain, on an expedition 
to the regions of the Upper Mississippi, with the ultimate purpose of ascertaining the 
breadth of that vast Continent, which extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, 
in its broadest part, between 45 and 46 of north latitude. Carver did not succeed in 
penetrating to the Pacific Ocean, but he first made known, or at least established a 
belief in the existence of a great river, termed, apparently, by the Indian nations in 
the interior, Oregon, or Oregan, the source of which, he placed not far from the 
head waters of the river Missouri, "on the other side of the summit of the lands 
that divide the waters, which run into the Gulf of Mexico, from those which fall 
into the Pacific Ocean." He was led to infer from the account of the natives, that 
this " Great River of the West" emptied itself near the Straits of Anian, although 
it may be observed, that the situation of the so called Straits of Arian themselves, 
were not at this time accurately fixed. Carver, however, was misled in this latter 
respect, but the description of the locality, where he placed the source of the 


territory, as applied to the entire country, intermediate be- 
tween the dominions of Russia and Mexico, respectively its 
boundaries will be the Rocky Mountains on the east, the 
Pacific Ocean on the west, the parallel of 54 40' north lati- 
tude on the north, and that of 42 north latitude on the south. 
The entire superficies would thus amount to 501,600 geogra- 
phical square miles. If, on the other hand, we accept the 
north-western limit, which Mr. Greerihow has marked out for 
" the Country of the Columbia," namely, the range of moun- 
tains which stretches north-eastward, from the eastern extre- 
mity of the Straits of Fuca, about four hundred miles, to the 
Rocky Mountains ; separating the waters of the Columbia 
from those of Frazer's River, it will include not less than 
400,000 square miles in superficial extent, which is nearly 
half of all the States of the Federal Union. 

Such are the geographical limits of the Oregon Territory, in 
its widest and in its narrowest extent. The Indian hunter 
roamed throughout it, undisturbed by civilized man, till near 
the conclusion of the last century, when Captain James King, 
on his return from the expedition, which proved so fatal to 
Captain Cook, made known the high prices which the fur of 
the sea-otter commanded, in the markets of China, and, 
thereby attracted the attention of Europeans to it, The en- 
terprise of British merchants was in consequence of Captain 
King's suggestion, directed to the opening of the Fur trade, 

Oregon, seems to identify it either with the Flatbow, or with the Flathead, or 
Clark's River, each of which streams, ^ after pursuing a north-western course, from 
the base of the Rocky Mountains, unites with a great river, coming from the 
north, which ultimately, empties itself into the Pacific Ocean, in latitude 46 18' O'O'. 
The name oT Oregon has consequently been perpetuated in this main river, as 
being really the " Great River of the West," and by this name it is best known 
in Europe ; but in the United States, it is more frequently spoken of as the 
Columbia River, from the name of the American vessel, the "Columbia," which 
really first discovered it in 1792, and anchored oft" Astoria, distant about ten miles 
from the mouth of the river. 


between the native hunters, along the northwest coast of 
AiiK-rica, and the Chinese, as early as 1786. The attempt 
of the Spaniards to suppress this trade, by the seizure of the 
vessels engaged in it, in 1789, led to the dispute between the 
Crowns of Spain and Great Britain, in respect to the claim to 
exclusive sovereignty, asserted by the former power over the 
Port of Nootka and the adjacent latitudes, which was brought 
to a close by the Convention of the Escurial, in 1790. 

The European merchants, however, who engaged in this 
lucrative branch of commerce, confined their visits to stations 
on the coasts, where the natives brought from the interior -the 
produce of their hunting expeditions; and' even respecting 
the coast itself, very little accurate information was possessed 
by Europeans before Vancouver's survey. Vancouver, as is 
well known, was dispatched in 1791 by the British Govern- 
ment to superintend, on the part of Great Britain, the execu- 
tion of the Convention of the Escurial, and he was at the 
same time instructed to survey the coast from 35 to 60, with 
a view to ascertain in what parts civilized nations had made 
settlements, and likewise to determine whether or not any 
effective water- communication, available for commercial pur- 
poses, existed in those parts between the Atlantic and Pacific 
Oceans. A Spanish Expedition, under Galiano and Valdes, 
was engaged about the same time upon the same object; so 
that from this period, namely, the concluding decade of the 
last century, the coast of Oregon may be considered to have 
been sufficiently well known, 

The interior, however, of the country had remained hitherto 
unexplored, and no white man seems ever to have crossed the 
Rocky Mountains prior to Alexander Mackenzie in 1793. 
Having ascended the Unjigah, or Peace River, from the At- 
habaska Lake on the eastern side of the .Rocky Mountains to 


one of its sources in 54 24' 00"., Mackenzie embarked upon 
a river flowing from the western base of the mountains, 
called by the natives Tacoutche Tesse. This was generally 
supposed v to be the northernmost branch of the Columbia 
River, till it was traced in 1812 to the Gulf of Georgia, where 
it empties itself in 49 latitude, and was henceforth named 
Frazer's River. Mackenzie having descended this river for 
about 250 miles, struck across the country westward, and 
reached the sea in 52 20' 00", at an inlet which had been 
surveyed a short time before by Vancouver, and had been 
named by him Cascade Canal. This was the first expedition 
of civilized men through the country west of the Rocky Moun- 
tains. It did not lead to any immediate result in the way of 
settlement, though it paved the way by contributing, in con- 
junction with Vancouver's survey, to confirm the conclusion at 
which Captain Cook had arrived, that the American continent 
extended in an uninterrupted line north-westward to Behring's 

The result of Mackenzie's discoveries was to open a wide 
field to the westward for the enterprise of British merchants 
engaged in the fur-trade ; and thus we find a settlement in 
this extensive district made not long after the publication of 
his voyage, by the agents of the Northwest Company. This 
great association had been growing up since 1784, upon the 
wreck of the French-Canadian fur-trade, and gradually ab- 
sorbed into itself all the minor companies. It did not, how- 
ever, obtain its complete orgjtnization till 1805, when it soon 
became a most formidable rival to the Hudson's Bay Company, 
which had been chartered as early as 1670, and had all but suc- 
ceeded in monopolizing the entire fur-trade of North America, 
after the transfer of Canada to Great Britain. The Hudson's 
Bay Company, with the characteristic security of a chartered 


company, had confined their posts to the shores of the ample 
territory which had been granted to them by the Charter of 
Charles II., and left the task of procuring furs to the enter- 
prise of the native hunters. The practice of the hunters was 
to suspend their chase during the summer months, when the 
fur is of inferior quality and the animals rear their young, and 
to descend by the lakes and rivers of the interior to the estab- 
lished marts of the Company, with the produce of the past 
winter's campaign. The Northwest Company adopted a 
totally different system. They dispatched their servants into 
the very recesses of the wilderness to bargain with the native 
hunters at their homes. They established " wintering part- 
ners" in the interior of the country to superintend the inter- 
course with the various tribes of Indians, and employed at one 
time not fewer than two thousand voyageurs, or boatmen. 
The natives being thus no longer cal]ed away from their pur- 
suit of the beaver and other animals, by the necessity of 
resorting as heretofore to the factories of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, continued on their hunting-grounds during the 
whole year, and were tempted to kill the cub and full-grown 
animal alike, and thus to anticipate the supply of future years. 
As the nearer hunting-grounds became exhausted, the North- 
west Company advanced their stations westwardly into regions 
previously unexplored, and in 1806 they pushed forward a 
post across the Rocky Mountains, through the passage where 
the Peace River descends through a deep chasm in the chain, 
and formed a trading establishment on a lake now called 
Frazer's Lake, situated in 54 north latitude. It is from this 
period, according to Mr. Harnon, who was a partner in the com- 
pany, and superintendent of its trade on the wertcrn side of the 
Rocky Mountains, that the name of New Caledonia had been 
used to designate the northern portion of the Oregon Territory. 


The United States of America had in the meantime not 
remained inattentive to their own future commercial interests 
in this quarter, as they had dispatched from the southern side 
an exploring party across the Rocky Mountains almost imme- 
diately after their purchase of Lousiana in 1803 On this oc- 
casion Mr. Jefferson, then President of the United States, com- 
missioned Captains Lewis and Clarke " to explore the River 
Missouri and its principal branches to their sources, and then 
to seek arid trace to its termination in the Pacific, some 
stream, whether the Columbia, the Oregon, the Colorado, or 
any other which might offer the most direct and practicable 
water-communication across the continent for the purpose of 
commerce." The party succeeded in passing the Rocky 
Mountains towards the end of September, in 1805, and after 
following, by the advice of their native guides, the Kooskookee 
River, which they reached in latitude 43 34' 00", to its 
junction with the principal southern tributary of the Great 
River of the West,' they gave the name of Lewis to this 
tributary. Having in seven days afterwards reached the 
main stream, they traced it down to the Pacific Ocean, where 
it was found to empty itself in latitude 46 18' 00" north. 
They thus identified the Oregon, or Great River of the West 
of Carver, with the river to whose outlet Captain Grey had 
given the name of his vessel, the Columbia, in 1792, and 
having passed the winter among the^ Clatsop Indians in an 
encampment on the south side of the river, not very far from 
its mouth, which they called Fort Clatsop, they commenced 
with the approach of spring the ascent of the Columbia on 
their return homeward. After reaching the Kooskookee, they 
pursued a course eastward, till they arrived at a stream, to 
which they gave the name of Clarke, as considering it to be the 
upper part of the main river which they had previously called 


Clarke at its confluence with the Lewis. Here they separated 
at about the forty-seventh parallel of latitude. Captain Lewis 
then struck across the country northward to the Rocky 
Mountains, and crossed them so as to reach the head-waters 
of the Maria River, which empties itself into the Missouri, 
just below the Falls. Captain Clarke, on the other hand, 
followed the Clarke River towards its source, in a southward 
direction, and then crossed through a gap in the Rocky Moun- 
tains, so as to descend the Yellow Stone River to the Missouri. 
Both parties united once more on the banks of the Missouri, 
and arrived in safety at St. Louis in September, 1806. 

The reports of this Expedition seem to have first directed 
the attention of traders in the United States to the hunting- 
grounds of Oregon. The Missouri Fur Company was formed 
in 1808, and Mr. Henry, one of its agents, established a 
trading post on a branch of the Lewis River, the great southern 
arm of the Columbia. The hostility, however, of the natives, 
combined with the difficulty of procuring supplies, compelled 
Mr. Henry to abandon it in 1810. The Pacific Fur Com- 
pany was formed about this time at New York, with the object 
of engaging in the fur commerce between China and the north- 
west Coast of America. The head of this association was 
John Jacob Astor. He had already obtained a charter from 
the Legislature of New York, in 1809, incorporating a Com- 
pany, under the name of the American Fur Company, to 
compete with the Mackinaw Company of Canada, within the 
Atlantic States, of which he was himself the real representa- 
tive, according to Mr. Washington Irving his board of Di- 
rectors being merely a nominal body. Mr. Astor engaged nine 
partners in his scheme, of whom six were Scotchmen, who 
had all been in the service of the Northwest Company, and 
three were citizens of the United States. 


Having at last arranged his plans, he dispatched in Septem- 
ber, 1810, four of his "partners, with twenty-seven subor- 
dinate officers and servants, in the ship, " Tonquin," com- 
manded by Jonathan Thorne, a lieutenant in the United 
States Navy, to establish a settlement at the mouth of the 
Columbia River. They arrived at their destination in March, 
1811, and erected a fort and other necessary buildings on the 
south side of the river, about ten miles from the mouth, to 
which the name of Astoria was given. The Tonquin proceeded 
in June on a trading voyage to the northward, and was de- 
stroyed, with her crew, by the Indians in the Bay of Clyoquot, 
near the entrance of the Strait of Fuca. 

In the following month of July, Mr. Thomson, the agent of 
the Northwest Company, descended the northern branch of the 
Columbia, and visited the settlement at the mouth of the Co- 
lumbia. He was received with friendly hospitality by the 
Superintendent of the Pacific Company, and shortly took his 
departure again. Mr. Stuart, one of Mr. Astor's partners, 
accompanied him up the river as far as its junction with the 
Okinagan, where he remained during the winter, collecting 
furs from the natives. The Factory at Astoria, in the mean- 
time, was reinforced in January, 1812, by a further detach- 
ment of persons in the service of the Pacific Fur Company, 
who had set out overland early in 1811, and after suffering 
extreme hardships, and losing several of their number, at last 
made their way in separate parties to the mouth of the Colum- 
bia. A third detachment was brought by the ship " Beaver" 
in the following May. All the partners of the Company, ex- 
clusive of Mr. Astor, had .now been dispatched to the scene 
of their future trading operations. Mr. Mackay was alone 
wanting to their number ; he had unfortunately proceeded 
northwards with Captain Thorne, in order to make arrange- 


ments with the Russians, and was involved in the common 
fate of the crew of the " Tonquin." 

The circumstances, however, of this establishment under- 
went a great change upon the declaration of war by the United 
States against Great Britain, in 1812. Tidings of this event 
reached the Factory in January, 1813, through Messrs. McTa- 
vish and Laroque, partners of the Northwest Company, who 
visited Astoria with a small detachment of persons in the em- 
ployment of that Company, and opened negotiations for the 
dissolution of the Pacific Fur Company, and the abandonment 
of the establishment at Astoria. The Association was, in 
consequence, dissolved in July, 1813, and on the 16th of 
October following, an agreement was executed between Messrs. 
McTavish and Mr. John Stuart, on the part of the Northwest 
Company, and Messrs. McDougal, McKenzie, David Stuart, 
and Clarke, on the part of the Pacific Company, by which all 
the establishments, furs, and stock in hand of the late Pacific 
Fur Company, were transferred to the Northwest Company, 
at a given valuation, which produced, according to Mr. 
Greenhow, a sum total of 58,000 dollars. 

The bargain had hardly been concluded when the British 
sloop-of-war, the " Racoon," under the command of Captain 
Black, entered the Columbia River, with the express purpose 
of destroying the settlement at Astoria ; but the establishment 
had previously become the property of the Northwest Com- 
pany, and was in the hands of their agents. All that remained 
for Captain Black to perform was to hoist the British Flag 
over the Factory, the name of which he changed to Fort 
George. There have been no changes in the Territory since 
1813, worthy of particular notice. 




AT 11 A. M., September 2d, Messrs. Eld, Dana, Brack- 
enbridge and myself, embarked in a canoe paddled by four 
Indians, to join the Expedition I have before spoken of. At 
2, we reached the mouth of the Willamette River, which we 
entered. It is here about 800 feet in breadth, and its banks 
are low and uninteresting. After ascending a few miles we 
met the Rev. Mr. Cone, who was on his way to Vancouver. 
He spoke of our party encamped in the valley, arid stated that 
several of the scientific gentlemen were suifering from the at- 
tacks of the ague. Mr. C. is connected with the Methodist 
Mission in Oregon. At sunset we encamped near an oak 
grove on the left bank of the river. 

At an early hour the following morning, we resumed our 
journey, and after pulling about eight miles, reached the 
Klackamus, where we found five Americans building a schooner, 
in which they intended to engage in the sea-otter trade. They 
informed us that they had been in Oregon nearly a year, and 
had crossed the Rocky Mountains. They did not speak fa- 
vorably of the country, and stated, that they intended to leave 
for California as soon as they could make a little money in 
the fur business. The Willamette River is navigable at the 
lowest stage of water as far as the Klackamus. After ascend- 
ing another three miles, we arrived at the Falls. As we ap- 
proached these, the breadth of the river rapidly diminished, 


and the water shoaled ; the banks were also higher and more 
prccipitious. There is a mission station here under the charge 
of Mr. Waller. The Hudson's Bay Company have likewise 
a trading post near by, and pack a great many salmon, which 
the Indians catch in large quantities. It is said to be the best 
salmon fishery on the river. The Falls are between twenty 
and thirty feet in height, and, when the country becomes 
settled, they will be invaluable for their water-power. An 
American by the name of Moore, told us, that the western 
side of the Falls had become his property, he having bought 
the land on that side of the river from an Indian chief. 

Our progress now was much slower than before, owing to 
the strength of the current, and we crossed and re-crossed the 
river frequently in order to take advantage of the eddies. 
This part of the Willamette is considered very dangerous 
when the water is high, and the Indians, in passing, invariably 
make to it a propitiatory offering of some of their food, that 
they may have a safe passage. 

The night was clear and pleasant, and we continued to pull 
until we reached Champooing village, which was as far as Mr. 
Eld and myself intended to proceed by water. 

On the following morning, we breakfasted by invitation, 
with Mr. McKoy, one of the most noted individuals in this 
part of the country. Among the trappers, he is the hero of 
many a tale, and he entertained us during our stay with an ac- 
count of several of his adventures with the Indians, which 
certainly showed him to be a man of great nerve and shrewd- 
ness. He is about forty years of age, tall, and straight, and 
has a countenance expressive of great firmness and daring of 
character. His crops had just been gathered, and he in- 
formed us that the average yield of the wheat would be twenty- 
five bushels to the acre. His house stands on the margin of 


a small stream, and answers both for a dwelling and a grist- 

When breakfast was over, our friend furnished us with 
horses, and we rode on in the direction of the encampment. 
We passed many farms of from thirty to one hundred acres, 
belonging to Canadians who had been in the service of the 
Hudson's Bay Company ; they liked the country, and appeared 
very comfortable and thriving. We saw a large mumber of 
cattle, horses, and sheep, grazing in the surrounding fields. 
From 12 to 1 P.M., we halted, to partake of dinner and rest the 
horses ; another short ride brought us to the American settle- 
ment. There were many things here to remind us of home ; 
among others, a good road, well inclosed fields, a blacksmith- 
shop, and a school-house. 'This is the largest and most pros- 
perous settlement in all Oregon. It is situated on the banks 
of the Willamette River, on a fertile plain of many miles in 
extent ; the soil is adapted to the growth of wheat, rye, and 
Irish potatoes ; horned cattle and sheep also, thrive here admi- 
rably. The climate of this portion of Oregon is so mild that 
stock is never kept up during the winter months, and barns are 
only used for storing the grain. The Methodists have a Mis- 
sion Station here, and some of the best lands are owned by it. 

Near the settlement we forded the river, and shortly after 
we arrived at the encampment of our party. We were glad 
to find that the sick alluded to by Mr. Cone, had recovered, 
and in the course of a day or two we should be able to set 
out on our intended journey. 

On Sunday, the Rev. Mr. Leslie performed Divine Service 
at his residence, on the opposite side of the river, and as many 
of our officers attended as could be spared ; Mr. Leslie is a 
member of the Methodist Mission established in the valley, 
and enjoys better reputation among the settlers than most of 


the other mission gentlemen. He is, they say, the only Mis- 
sionary among them who pays any attention to his proper du- 
ties ; this statement, if we may judge the tree by its fruit, 
is not erroneous. Most of these gentleman have turned their 
attention to farming, and think more about their crops than 
they do of the great cause which they have been sent out to 
advance ; the number of Indian children to whom they give 
instruction does not exceed twenty, and the adult Indians 
living about the settlement, are entirely neglected. 

On the 8th of September we bade adieu to the banks of the 
Willamette. A complete list of the names of the persons 
who now formed the party, will be found in the Appendix. 

At first we had our share of drawbacks ; a thousand things 
were now to be done, which had not been thought of before, 
nor could they have been foreseen. Many of the pack-saddles 
were found to be either too large or too small ; the strength of a 
number of the horses had been overrated, and the packs which 
it had been intended they should carry, had in consequence to 
be reduced or exchanged for others which were lighter. Then 
there was a list to be taken of all the packs and the animals 
which belonged to the government, and those which did not. 
All this produced delay and confusion for a time, but, when 
finally all was right, and the expedition made a start, it 
moved on at a fine rate, and by 4 o'clock P. M. we reached 
Mr. Turner's place, where we encamped for the night. 

Mr. Turner supports himself by supplying the Willamette 
settlement with beef semi-weekly, and he made us a present 
of a fine bullock. He is a native of New York, but has been 
thirteen years in Oregon ; has an Indian woman to keep house 
for him, and seems perfectly contented. He has been to 
California several times, and in 1834 he formed one of a 
party of sixteen settlers, who set out to go there to purchase 


cattle, but they were attacked by the Indians during the night, 
near the base of the Shastc Mountains, and ten of his com- 
panions were massacred. Two of the party were killed im- 
mediately. Turner was seated by the fire when the savages 
rushed into the camp ; he snatched up a brand and defended 
himself with it until his Indian woman brought him his rifle, 
with which he killed four. His surviving companions had 
now seized their fire-arms, and dealt such destruction among 
the Indians that they at last retreated, and allowed Turner 
and his five companions to make good their retreat to the 

We were detained -at Turner's place all the next day, on 
account of two of the horses having got astray. In the after- 
noon I took a stroll, and fell in with an encampment of Cali- 
poya Indians. There were altogether five families of them, 
and each had its own fire and tent. They were miserably 
clad, and their habitations were swarming with vermin. The 
surrounding country was perfectly level, and produced luxu- 
riant grasses and some trees. 

On the 10th we left Mr. Turner's place, and directed our 
steps to the southward and eastward. We crossed during 
this day several small streams, which are tributary to the 
Willamette. The country continued level, but all the vegeta- 
tion, except the trees, had been destroyed by fire, said to have 
been kindled by the Prairie Indians, for the purpose of pro- 
curing a certain species of root, which forms a principal part 
of their food. We spent the night on the banks of a creek, 
named Igneas. 

At 9 o'clock the following day we resumed our march, and 
shortly after reached Guardepii Lake, which is not more than 
a mile in circumference. In the course of the afternoon we 
crossed Lumtumbuff River, which is a branch of the Willa- 

= - 


mette. It is a deep and turbid stream, but is fordable at 
certain points. 

During the 13th it was very foggy, and we had much diffi- 
culty in finding the animals. Owing to this circumstance we 
advanced this day only two miles on our course. At this 
encampment we obtained observations, both on the dip and in- 
tensity needles. About dusk some Calipoya Indians paid us 
a visit ; they proved to be acquaintances of the guide, and the 
meeting seemed to be one which afforded mutual pleasure to 
both parties. He represented them as being a perfectly 
harmless people, and there was nothing in their appearance to 
indicate the contrary. They were clothed in deer-skins, with 
fox-skin caps, or cast-off clothing of the whites. Their arms 
were bows and arrows ; the latter were pointed with bone, and 
they carried them in a quiver made of seal-skin. 

On the morning of the 14th we resumed our journey, and 
made about ten miles on our course. The soil now was com- 
posed of white sand, mixed with clay, and produced only 
prairie grass. I gave this day to one of the scientific gentle- 
men, Mr. Dana, a beautiful specimen of fresh-water asticus, 
which I captured in the stream, upon whose banks we 
encamped for the night. 

On the 15th our route lay through a broken country, densely 
covered with pines, spruces, and oaks ; some of the former 
were upwards of two hundred feet in height, and proportionally 
large in circumference. At 3.30 P. M. we reached the base 
of the Elk Mountains, which separate the valley of Willamette 
from that of Umpquoa. We estimated the greatest elevation 
of these mountains to be 1500 feet; they are clothed with 
trees and underbrush to their summit. We had a severe frost 
during the night, although the temperature during the day 
had been as high as 77 in the shade. 

The Elk. 

The Deer. 

Black-tailed Deer. 


On the 16th we encamped on the Elk River. This river 
is so called because its banks abound in elk ; it is about one- 
half of the size of the Willamette River, and has considerable 
current. We had scarcely pitched our tents, when some of 
the hunters succeeded in killing an elk and a deer. They 
were brought into camp, and divided among the different messes. 

The following morning, Messrs. Emmons, Agate, and ser- 
geant Stearns, with Boileau as a guide, left the camp for Fort 
Umpquoa, for the double object of examining the country and 
exchanging several of the pack-horses, which had nearly given 
out. This fort belongs to the Hudson's Bay Company, and is 
constructed after the manner of those of Nisqually and Van- 
couver. It is situated on the Umpquoa River, a fine stream, 
which empties into the ocean. 

The Superintendent of the establishment, Mr. Gangriere, 
gave Mr. Emmons a very unfavorable account of the Indians 
who inhabited this region. He stated that he had long before 
heard of the intended journey, through the Indians, and that 
the news had passed on to all the tribes, who were collecting 
in large numbers, to oppose our passage. He also endeavored 
to dissuade Mr. Emmons from proceeding any further, by 
telling him that these Indians were a brave race, consequently 
in the event of an attack, our party must be destroyed, for he 
thought it was very small. 

According to our hunters, the Umpquoa country abounds in 
beaver, deer, and bears. About dusk Mr. Emmons returned, 
accompanied by Mesdames Boileau and Gangriere, who 
wished to see the camp, and consult the doctor. He commu- 
nicated to the party, what Mr. Gangriere had stated in rela- 
tion to the Indians, and gave orders for increasing the number 
of sentries about the camp, to make more cartridges, and to 
put all the arms in the best fighting condition. 


At an early hour on the 18th, we resumed our march. 
Mesdames Boileau and Grangriere accompanied us for a few 
miles, and then left, to return to Fort Umpquoa. 

On the 19th we deviated from the direct road, in order to 
avoid any chance of an encounter with the Indians. This 
brought us to the north fork of the Umpquoa, which we forded 
without any accident, though, before making the attempt, it 
was reasonably feared that we might meet with many, from the 
fact that the current was very rapid, and the bottom extremely 
slippery. The rocks observed in this region, contain fossils, 
and occasionally exhibit seams of coal. During this day 
many friendly Indians were seen, who reported that the hos- 
tile tribes were preparing to dispute our passage. We passed 
one large party, composed entirely of women, who were out 
gathering roots. They were all passe, and extremely ugly. 
One old woman can only be described by Juvenal, 

" Such wrinkles see, 
As in an Indian forest's solitude, 
Some old ape scrubs amidst her numerous brood." 

During the 20th, our route lay through a succession of 
hills and valleys, intersected by numerous streams. None of 
the hills are more than four hundred feet in height, and all are 
susceptible of cultivation, the soil being apparently as good 
as that in the valleys. We saw, in the course of this day, 
several grisly bears, and the hunters fired many balls at 
them ; but they did not succeed in killing any. At sunset we 
encamped on the south branch of the Umpquoa River. 
During the night our rest was much disturbed by the howling 
of wolves, which are very numerous in these parts. 

The following day we crossed the Umpquoa River; it is 
not so broad nor so deep as the northern branch. We passed, 

The Common Wolf. 

The Dusky Wolf. 


during this day's ride, a number of Indian graves ; they were 
surrounded with poles, one end of which was stuck in the 
ground, to the other were suspended the goods of the deceased, 
such as mats, blankets, bows, and arrows. We also met 
several small parties of Umpquoa Indians, who declared them- 
selves to be friendly to the whites, and were anxious to obtain 
powder and balls, but we refused to furnish them. We 
expected an attack during the night, from the hostile tribes, 
and had prepared to give them a warm reception ; but none 

On the 22d, at an early hour, we commenced to ascend the 
Umpquoa Mountains. The path was narrow and very steep, 
so much so, that several of the pack-horses stumbled and 
were considerably injured. At 11 A. M. we halted, for 
nearly half an hour, to rest the animals. At 4, having 
reached the summit of the ridge, we again rested for a few 
minutes, and then commenced descending, and by sunset we 
arrived at the valley beneath, where we spent the night. We 
found the greatest elevation of the mountain to be 1750 feet. 
During the 23d, we remained at the same encampment, in 
order to give the horses time to recover from the fatigue under- 
gone, and to afibrd Mr. Peale an opportunity of finding his 
camera-lucida and drawings, which had dropped out of his 
carpet-bag, while crossing the mountains yesterday. At 3, 
he returned, and brought with him the eamera-lucida ; the 
other articles he was unable to find. We observed, in the 
neighborhood of this encampment, a considerable number of 
the Pinus Lamber.tiana Douglas. 

On the 24th we resumed our route. The country looked 
much less inviting than it did on the other side of the moun- 
tain. Perhaps the contrast would not have been so striking, 
had there not been an almost entire destitution of vegetation, 


the fire having destroyed everything but the trees. The 
rocks are intersected with veins of quartz, and the soil is 
sandy and generally of a light-red color. 

In the course of the day, the hunters discovered the fresh 
foot-prints of Indians, and in searching for the savages, they 
came upon three squaws, who had been left, when the others 
fled. It was clear that the savages were closely watching our 
movements, and only waited for a good opportunity to pounce 
upon us. At 4 P. M. we arrived, and encamped on the 
banks of Young's Creek, where we found a party of Klamet 
Indians ; they looked very innocent, and pretended to be glad 
to see us ; but the guide represented them as being the most 
rascally set in all Oregon calling them horse- thieves, robbers, 
and murderers. 

During the 25th and 26th, our road lay through an undu- 
lating country, interspersed with forests of the Pinus Latnber- 
tiana. I tasted the sugar produced by this singular tree r and 
found it to be slightly bitter. It is a powerful cathartic, yet 
I was told that the trappers used it as a substitute for sugar ; 
the Indian mode of collecting it is to burn a cavity in the 
tree, whence it exudes in large quantities. We passed, on 
the last of these days, Tootootutnas River, another beautiful 
stream, upwards of one hundred yards in width, and abound- 
ing in salmon and other fish. The land, a few hundred 
yards from its banks, rises into hills of considerable height, 
formed principally of granite sand. 

Several Indians came about the camp and pretended to be 
friendly, but we placed no confidence in their professions, and 
sent them away before night came on. They had canoes with 
which they navigated the neighboring streams, but they were 
very rude, and dug out square at the extremes. 

During both these days most of the gentlemen of the party 

The Bison. 

The Antelope. 


and several of the sailors suffered excessively from attacks of 
the ague. In my own case, the chills were so violent, that it 
was impossible to travel while they lasted. 

On the 27th, we reached one of those places where it was 
said the Indians never failed to make their attacks. We had 
one man in the party who had been twice assaulted at the 
same place. It was a steep rocky spot, close by the river 
Tootootutnas. As we passed on, many armed Indians were 
observed on the opposite side of the stream, and, occasionally, 
were heard to utter yells, which were absolutely infernal, but 
they did not attempt to oppose our progress. We were fully 
prepared for them, and, it was this, no doubt, which prevented 
their making an assault. Even the wives of the hunters were 
armed on the occasion. 

We saw this day a great variety of game, among which was 
the antelope. It is said the Indians take this animal by ex- 
citing its curiosity ; for this purpose, they conceal themselves 
behind a tree, or among the bushes, and making a rustling 
noise, the attention of the animal is soon attracted, when it is 
led to advance toward the place of concealment, until the 
fatal arrow pierces it. The animal strongly resembles the 
deer, and its flesh is very palatable. According to the hunters, 
they are found only in the prairies. 

On the 29th, we crossed the boundary range which separates 
Oregon from Upper California. The greatest elevation of the 
range was found to be 2,000 feet. The ascent was steep and 
tedious, and every moment we expected to be attacked by 
hostile Indians. The hunter named Tibbats, was one of a 
large party which was nearly destroyed by the savages three 
years before. He flattered himself that he should now have 
an opportunity to take his revenge on them, but he was 
not gratified", as not an Indian was to be seen in passing the 


mountain, although they had evidently intended to attack us ; 
fresh tracks were observable in every direction, and large 
trees felled across the path to prevent the party from ad- 

On arriving at the summit of the range, we obtained a view 
which more than repaid us for our trouble. The Shaste 
Mountains with their snowy peaks, were to be seen some fifty 
miles to the southward, swelling and soaring to the skies, 
while the Klamet Valley into which we descended, like that in 
which the poet built his Castle of Indolence, was 

" A lonely dale fast by the river side, 
And was, I ween, a lovely spot of ground." 

This valley is watered by the Klamet River, and is bounded 
on all sides with hills of considerable elevation, rising one be- 
yond the other, and covered with forests of oak, which added 
materially to the picturesque beauty of the scene. 

During the 30th, we remained encamped to enable the sick 
to recover from the fatigue undergone in crossing the moun- 
tains. Near this camping-place was found an Indian hut 
constructed of bent twigs ; it was small and extremely low. 
The temperature in the shade during the day was 100, at 
night, it was 32. No doubt these great and sudden changes 
in the atmosphere tended to aggravate the ague attacks from 
which we suffered during the journey. 

On the 1st of October the sick were much better, and we 
pursued our way. At 10 A. M. we forded the Klamet River, 
where it was about seventy yards broad ; it was between three 
and four feet deep, with a beautiful pebbly bottom. There 
were rapids both above arid below the ford, and from the 
appearance of the banks, it is subject to overflow. After 
crossing the river, masses of volcanic rock were observable in 



all directions, and the soil was dry and barren. At sunset 
we pitched our tents on a spot of green grass, near the southern 
branch of the Klamet River, which is likewise a beautiful 
stream, and abounds in fish. 

The Indians found here were well disposed and better look- 
ing than any we had seen before. They supplied us with 
some salmon which were of a whitish color, and greatly in- 
ferior in flavor to those taken in the Columbia. They were 
also willing to sell their bows and arrows, which were neatly 
made, and several were purchased for the Government. 

October 2d, 9 A. M., we bade adieu to Klamet River, and 
directed our steps to the southward. The country was now 
more undulating, and apparently more fertile, than that we 
passed over the preceding day. We did not meet with any 
water till late in the day, in consequence of which, the poor 
animals suffered excessively from thirst. Large herds of an- 
telopes and mountain-sheep were seen ; the latter are of a 
grayish color, have long spreading horns, and are much larger 
animal, than the ordinary sheep. 

From the 3d and up to the 10th, we were engaged in cross- 
ing the Shaste Range. These mountains may be represented 
as being a succession of a range of high hills, separated from 
each other by narrow valleys, traversed by streams that are 
fed by the melting snows which cover the tops of the highest 
peaks. The path was serpentine and difficult, and several of 
the horses broke down before the summit of the last range 
could be gained. In the valleys the Pinus Lambertiana was 
seen flourishing in all its glory ; several trees were measured, 
and found to be three hundred feet in height. 

The day after we commenced to ascend these mountains, 
we fell in with the head waters of the Sacramento, which flow 
to the southward. At this point it was an insignificant 


stream, being not more than thirty feet broad and two feet 

The weather, with the exception of that of a single day, was 
cool, clear and bracing, and we all enjoyed much better health 
than while traversing the plains. Nor was there any want of 
game ; indeed, some days our hunters killed more than it was 
possible for the company to consume. The scientific gentle- 
men made large collections in their respective departments. 

We saw many Indians, and as we knew they were friendly ; 
we permitted them to enter our camp. They are a large, 
fine-looking race, and of a sociable disposition. They do not 
compress their heads, and they allow their hair, which is fine 
and glossy, to hang down to their shoulders in natural ringlets. 
Their food consists of game, fish, and acorns, which they make 
into bread. Their huts are small, and devoid of comfort. 
They have bows and arrows, with which they shoot admirably. 
An ordinary sized button was set up as a mark thirty yards 
off, and they hit it three times out of five ; they can also kill 
birds on the wing. The arrows are nearly three feet long, 
and feathered from six to ten inches. In shooting, the bow is 
held horizontally, braced by the thumb of the left hand, and 
drawn by the thumb and three fingers of the right hand ; and 
to obviate the disadvantage of drawing to the breast, the chest 
is thrown backwards on discharging the arrow ; they throw 
out the right leg, and stand on the left. 

The few women we saw were much inferior in personal ap- 
pearance to the men, which we attributed to hard work, for 
they seemed to be constantly employed, while the men did 
nothing but eat, drink, and amuse themselves. The artist of 
the party had much difficulty in taking their portraits, as they 
imagined that he was a medicine-man, and desired to practise 
some enchantment upon them. 

The Ruffed Grouse. 

The Pellican. 

The Black Bear. 

The Grisky Bear. 


It was calculated that the width of the range we passed 
over was one hundred miles. We were allured from height to 
height by many splendid views of land and water, which open 
at every turn of the pass; still we felt quite relieved when 
we reached the Sacramento Valley on the other side of the 
mountain, and reflected that the remainder of our journey 
would be comparatively easy, and devoid of the anxiety caused 
by the constant anticipation of being assaulted by hostile 

On reaching the Sacramento Valley, a material difference 
was observed in the character of the vegetation. Few pines 
or firs were now to be seen, while the oak, the sycamore, and 
the cotton-wood trees were abundant. Most of the plants 
were also unlike any we had been accustomed to see, and 
some were found which were not described in an} 7 of the 
botanical works 

On the 10th we fell in with several villages belonging to 
the Kinkla tribe of Indians ; they consisted of a few rude 
huts constructed of poles the whole surrounded by a brush - 
fence, which answered for a stockade. Most of the inhabi- 
tants were out gathering acrons and wild grapes. Their 
complexion was quite dark, but their features are more regu- 
lar than those of the northern tribes. Some were seen who 
had the Roman nose and oval face. They wore their hair 
long, but had it tied in a bunch behind. Their ears were 
bored, and the upper part of each cheek had a triangular 
figure painted upon it with a blue-black substance. It was 
also observed that they tattooed their arms. They had nothing 
to cover their nakedness, except a piece of deer-skin thrown 
over their shoulders. Their weapons were bows and arrows, 
and a forked-spear which they use to kill fish. 

Within half a mile of one of the villages our hunters killed 


two grisly bears. It is said this animal is very numerous in 
these parts, and not unfrequently enter the Indian villages, 
and carry off stray children. The soil of this portion of the 
valley is of an inferior quality, and bears but few trees or 

On the 12th we forded the Sacramento River, where it was 
between three and four feet deep and two hundred yards 
broad. It had been our intention to have disposed of the 
horses here, and proceed down the river in canoes, but these 
were not to be had, nor could we find suitable timber from 
which to make them ourselves. The soil now appeared more 
fertile, though we saw little vegetation, on account of the 
country having been run over by fire. 

Game was very plentiful, and five bears were killed in the 
course of the afternoon. 

During the 14th and 15th we traveled over a plain studded 
with a vast number of crater-shaped hills, which go by the 
name of Prairie Butes. It is generally believed that each of 
these has been a volcano. They can be seen at a great dis- 
tance, as they have an elevation of from five hundred to 
eighteen hundred feet ; the ground about them is strewed 
with a great quantity of bones of animals that resort here for 
protection during the season of the freshets, which flood the 
whole of the level country ; a deposit of considerable thick- 
ness covered the surface. The rocks forming some of the 
butes were of a volcanic origin. A great number of wild fowl 
were seen on both of these days. 

On the 17th we reached Feather River, which is a tributary 
to the Sacramento. As we were unable to find a place where 
it would be safe to ford it, we proceeded down its bank, and 
at sunset we encamped near its junction with the Sacramento 
River. It is a more rapid stream than the Sacramento, but 



its volume of water is considerably less. Its banks are from 
ten to fifteen feet high, and fringed with the sycamore and 
cotton-wood trees. It is navigable for boats. 

The 18th brought us to Captain Sutter's place, or New 
Helvatia, where we found the " Vincennes' " launch, in which 
Messrs. Emmons, Dana, Agate, Dr. Whittle and myself 
embarked, and proceeded down to San Francisco. The rest 
of the party set out to reach San Francisco by land. 

Captain Sutter* is a native of Switzerland, and has lived a 
most eventful life. He was a lieutenant in the Swiss Guards 
in the time of Charles X. Soon after the abdication of that 
monarch, he resigned his commission, and came over to the 
United States, and resided several years in St. Charles, Mis- 

We were most hospitably and kindly received by him ; there 
was no ostentatious display, no pomp nor ceremony, but an 
easy and polite demeanor on the part of our host, that made 
us feel perfectly at home. He has been two years in Califor- 
nia, and he informed us that he has obtained from the Govern- 
ment a conditional grant of ninety miles square in the Valley 
of the Sacramento. The location he has chosen for the erection 
of his dwelling and fort he has called New Helvatia. It is 
situated on the east bank of the Sacramento river, and about 
sixty miles from its mouth ; his buildings are constructed of 
adobes, and cover a large extent of ground. He has com- 
menced extensive operations in farming, and the extent of his 
stock amounts to two thousand sheep, three thousand cattle, 
and about one thousand horses. 

As we approached the settlement, we passed the village of 
Indians who live on the farm and work it, with whose appear- 

* It is well known that to his enterprise in erecting 'a mill, the first gold discovery 
in California was attributed. 


ance I was much disappointed, in consequence of the filthiness 
of their looks ; they are amply provided with the necessaries 
of life by Captain Sutter, but their natural inclination and 
habits are such as to prevent their advancement in civilized 

Besides farming, Captain Sutter is engaged in trapping, 
and distilling a kind of liquor resembling Pisco, from the wild 
grape of the country. 

On the 19th of October we arrived at San Francisco Bay, 
where we found the " Vincennes." The overland detachment 
arrived in the afternoon of the 24th. 

The Valley of Sacramento is one hundred and seventy miles 
long and from twenty to sixty miles wide. Having heard much 
of its fruitfulness, we expected, on entering it, to see a perfect 
garden ; but such was not the case. On the contrary, we saw 
but little good land ; and as for the landscape, it was extremely 
uninteresting, being utterly devoid of either beauty or variety. 
The river is navigable for vessels of sixty tons burthen, as far 
as New Helvatia, and for boats and canoes, seventy miles 
farther. The banks are nowhere over twenty feet in height, 
and are lined with sycamore and cotton-wood trees ; some of 
which are of large dimensions. 

San Francisco Bay is an extensive body of water, studded 
with many islands, which look as fresh and verdant as nature 
can make them. It communicates with the ocean by a nar- 
row passage, bounded on either side by rocky cliffs. The name 
of the principal town is Yerba-buena ; it is located near the 
entrance, and contains about thirty buildings of one story high, 
constructed of adobes. The trade is limited to eight or ten 
vessels ; these lay at their anchors until they retail out their 
cargoes, by which means part of the duties, which are very 
onerous on all landed articles, are saved. 


Such was San Francisco at the time of our visit; since 
then the whole of California has undergone surprising changes, 
which cannot be better described than in the words of Mr. 
Walter Colton, author of " Deck and Port," and " Three 
Years in California." 

" The Bay of San Francisco resembles a broad inland lake, 
communicating by a narrow channel with the ocean. This 
channel, as the tradition of the Aborigines runs, was opened 
by an earthquake, which a few centuries since convulsed the 
continent. The town is built on the south bend of the bay, 
near its communication with the sea. Its site is a succession 
of barren sand-hills, tumbled up into every variety of shape. 
No leveling process, on a scale of any magnitude, has been 
attempted. The buildings roll up and over these sand-ridges 
like a shoal of porpoises over the swell of a wave, only the fish 
has 'much the most order in the disposal of his head and tail. 
More incongruous combinations in architecture never danced 
in the dreams of men brick warehouses, wooden shanties, 
sheet-iron huts, and shaking- tents, are blended in admirable 

" But these grotesque habitations have as much uniformity 
and sobriety as the habits of those who occupy them. Hazards 
are made in commercial transactions, and projects of specula- 
tion that would throw Wall Street into spasms. I have seen 
merchants purchase cargoes without having even glanced into 
the invoice. The conditions of the sale were a hundred per 
cent, profits to the owner, and costs. In one cargo, when 
tumbled out, were found twenty thousand dollars in the single 
article of red cotton handkerchiefs ! 'I'll get rid of these 
among the wild Indians,' said the purchaser, with a shrug of 
the shoulders. ' I've a water lot which I will sell,' cries 
another. i Which way does it stretch?' inquire half-a-dozen. 


' Right under the craft there,' is the reply. ' And what do 
you ask for it V ' Fifteen thousand dollars.' < I'll take it.' 
' Then down with the dust.' So the water lot, which mortal 
eyes never yet beheld, changes its owners, without changing 
its fish. 

" ' I have two shares in a gold-mine,' cries another. 
'Where are they?' inquire the crowd. 'Under the south 
branch of the Yuba River, which we have almost turned,' is 
the reply. ' And what will you take V ' Fifteen thousand 
dollars.' 'I'll give ten.' 'Take it, stranger.' So the two 
shares of a possibility of gold, under a branch of the Yuba, 
where the water still rolls, rapid and deep, are sold for ten 
thousand dollars, paid down. Is there anything in the ' Ara- 
bian Nights' that surpasses this 1 

" But glance at the large wooden building which looks as if 
the winds had shingled it, and the powers of the air pinned its 
clapboards in a storm. Enter, and you find a great hall filled 
with tables, and a motley group gathered around each. Some 
are laying down hundreds, and others thousands, on the turn 
of a card. Each has a bag of grain-gold in his hand, which 
he must double or lose, and is only anxious to reach the table 
where he can make the experiment. You would advise him at 
least to purchase a suit of clothes, or repair his old ones, 
before he loses his all ; but what cares he for his outward 
garb, when piles of the yellow dust swell and glitter in his 
excited imagination? Down goes his bag of gold and is 
lost ! But does he look around for a rope, or pistol, that he 
may end his ruin 1 No : the river-bank where he gathered 
that gold has more ; so he cheers his momentary despondency 
with a strong glass of brandy, and is off again for the mines. 
He found the gold by good fortune and has lost it by bad, and 
now considers himself about even with the world. Such is 


the moral effect of gold-hunting on a man whose principles are 
not as fixed and immovable as the rock. It begins in a 
lottery and ends in a letter} 7 , where the blanks out-number 
the prizes ten to one. 

" But you are hungry want a breakfast turn into a re- 
staurant call for ham, eggs, and coffee then your bill. Six 
dollars! Your high boots, which have never seen a brush 
since you first put them on, have given out ; you find a pair 
that can replace them ; they are a tolerable fit ; and now 
what is the price ? Fifty dollars ! Your beard has not felt a 
razor since you went to the mines ; it must come off, and your 
frizzled hair be clipped. You find a barber ; his dull shears 
hang in the knots of your hair, like a sheep-shearer's in a 
fleece matted with burrs. The razor he straps on the leg of 
his boot, and then hauls away, starting at every pull some new 
fountain of tears. You vow you will let the beard go, but then 
one side is partly off, and you try the agony again to get the 
other side something like it. And now what is the charge for 
this torture ? Four dollars ! Night is approaching, and you 
must have a place where you can sleep. To inquire for a 
bed would be as idle as to hunt a pearl in the jungle of a 
Greenland bear. You look around for the lee of some shanty 
or tent, and tumble down for the night ; but a thousand fleas 
dispute the premises with you the contest is hopeless ; you 
tumble out as you tumble in, and spend the remainder of the 
night in finding a place not occupied by these aborigines of 
the soil. 

a But J T OU are not perhaps a gold-digger, as I had supposed. 
You are a supercargo, and have a valuable freight which you 
wish to land. You have warped your vessel in till her keel 
rakes, and yet you are several hundred yards off. Some 
lighter must be found that can skira these shallows- your 


own boats will not do. After waiting two or three weeks 
you get the use of a scow, called a lighter, for which you pay 
one hundred and fifty dollars a day. 

" To-morrow you are going to commence unloading, and wake 
betimes ; but find, that, during the night, every soul of your 
crew has escaped, and put out for the mines. You rush about 
on shore to find hands, and collect eight or ten loafers, who 
will assist you for fifteen dollars a-day each. Your cargo 
must be landed, and you close the bargain, though your fresh 
hands are already half-seas over. The scow is shoved from 
shore, brought along-side, loaded with goods, which are tumbled 
in as an Irishman dumps a load of dirt, and then with your oar 
and poles, push for the landing ; but the tide has ebbed too 
soon ; you are only half-way, and there your scow sticks fast 
in the midst of a great mud bottom, from which the last rip- 
ple of water has retreated. You cannot get forward, and you 
are now too late to get back ; night is setting in, and the rain 
clouds are gathering fast down comes a deluge, drenching 
your goods and filling your open scow. The returning tide 
will now be of no use the scow wont float except under water, 
and that is a sort of floating which don't suit you ; skin for 
skin though in this case not dry what will a man not give 
for his own life ? So, out you jump, and by crawling and 
creeping, make your way through the mire to the landing, and 
bring up against a bin, where another sort of wallower gives 
you a grunt of welcome. Your loafers must be paid off in the 
morning and the scow recovered, or its loss will cost you half 
the profits of your voyage. But the storm last night has driven 
another brig into yours, and there they both are, like a bear 
and bull, that have gored and crushed each other. But 
f misery loves company,' and you have it. The storm which 
swamped your scow and stove your brig last night, has been 


busy on shore. Piles of goods heaped up in every street, are 
in a condition which requires wreckers, as well as watchmen. 
But no one here is going to trouble himself about your mis- 
fortunes, nor much about his own. The reverses of to-day 
are to be more than repaired by the successes of to-morrow. 
These are only the broken pick-axes and spades by which the 
great mine is to be reached. What is the loss of a few thou- 
sands to one who is so soon to possess millions 1 Only a coon 
back in his hole, while the buffalo remains within rifle shot 
only a periwinkle lost, while the whale is beneath the harpoon 
only a farthing candle consumed, while the dowered bride, 
blushing in beauty and bliss, is kneeling at the nuptial altar. 
But let that pass. 

" But you are not alone in your destitution and dirt. There 
are hundreds around you who were quite as daintily reared, 
and who are doing here what they dodged afe home. Do you 
see that youth in red flannel shirt and coarse brogans, rolling 
a wheel-barrow ? He was a clerk in a counting-house in 
New York, and came here to shovel up gold, as you scoop up 
sand. He has been to the mines, gathered no gold, and re- 
turned, but now makes his ten dollars a- day by rolling that 
wheel-barrow ; it costs him six, however, to live, and the other 
four he loses at monte. 

" See you that young man with a long whip in his hand, 
cracking it over an ox- team ? He was one of the most learned 
geologists, for his age, in the United States, and came out 
here to apply his science to the discovery of gold deposits ; 
but, somehow, his diving-rods always dipped wrong, arid now, 
he has taken about which there is no mistake, so at least think 
his cattle. He would accumulate a fortune, did he not lose 
it as fast as made in some phrenzied speculation. But look 
yonder do you see that young gentleman with a string of 


fish, which he offers for sale 1 He was one of the best Greek 
and Latin scholars of his class in Yale College, and, subse- 
quently, one of the most promising Members of our Bar. But 
he exchanged his Blackstone for a pick, and, instead of pick- 
ing fees out of his clients' pockets, he came here to pick gold 
out of the mines ; but, the deuce was it, for whenever his 
pick struck close upon a deposit, it was no longer there ; so 
he exchanged his pick for a hook and line, and now angles for 
pike, pickerel, and perch, and can describe each fish by some 
apt line from Catulus. He would do well at his new pisca- 
tory profession but for the gilded hook of the gambler. He 
laughs at the trout for darting at a fictitious fly, and then chases 
a bait himself equally fanciful and false. 

" But look again do you see that pulperia, with its gathered 
groups of soldiers and sailors, poets and politicians, merchants 
and mendicants, doctors and draymen, clerks and cobblers, 
trappers and tinkers ? That little man who stands behind the 
bar, and deals to each his dram of fire, was once a preacher, 
and deemed almost a prophet, as he depicted the pangs of that 
worm which dieth not, but now he has exchanged that worm 
for another, but preserved his consistency, for his worm, too, 
distilleth delirium and death. And that thick- set man who 
stands in the midst of the crowd, with ruby countenance and 
reveling eye, whose repartee sets the whole pulperia in a roar, 
and who is now watching the liquor in his glass to see if it 
stirreth itself aright, once lectured in the west on the tempta- 
tions of those who tarry late at the wine; but now his teeto- 
talism covers all liquors as goodly gifts graciously bestowed. 
But one brief year, and some dame quickly may describe his 
pale exit, as that of his delirious prototype. c I saw him 
fumble with the sheets, and play with flowers, and smile upon 
his fingers' ends.' 


" And, yet, with all these drawbacks, with all these gamb- 
ling-tables, grog-shops, shanties, shavers, and fleas, San 
Francisco is swelling into a town of the highest commercial 
importance. She commands the trade of the great valleys, 
through which the Sacramento and San Joaquin, with their 
numerous tributaries, roll. She gathers to her bosom the pro- 
duct and manufactures of the United States, of England, 
China, the shores and islands of the Pacific. But now let us 
glance at California as she was a few years since, as she is 
now, and as she is fast becoming. 

" Three years ago, the white population of California could 
not have exceeded ten thousand souls. She has now a popula- 
tion of two hundred thousand, and a resistless tide of emigra- 
tion rolling in, through the heart of Mexico, over the Isthmus 
of Panama, around Cape Horn, and over the steeps of the 
Rocky Mountains. Then the great staple of the country was 
confined to wild cattle ; now it is found in exhaustless mines 
of quicksilver and gold. Then, the shipping which frequented 
her waters, was confined to a few drogers, that waddled along 
her coast in quest of hides and tallow ; now, the richest 
argosies of the commercial world are bound to her ports. 

u Three years ago, the dwellings of her citizens were reared 
under the hands of Indians, from sun-baked adobes of mud 
and straw ; now, a thousand hammers are ringing on rafter 
and roof, over walls of iron and brick. Then, the plough 
which furrowed her fields, was the crotch of a tree, which a 
stone or root might shiver ; now, the shares of the New 
England farmer glitter in her soil. Then, the wheels of her 
carts were cut from the butts of trees, with a hole in the 
centre, for the rude axle ; now, the iron-bound wheel of the 
finished mechanic, rolls over her hills and valleys. Then, 
only the canoe of the Indian disturbed the sleeping surface of 


her waters ; now, a fleet of steamers plough her ample rivers 
and bays. Then, not a school-house, public teacher, magazine, 
or newspaper, could be found in the whole territory ; now, they 
are met with in most of the larger towns. Then, the tastes 
and passions of an idle throng rang on the guitar and the fan- 
dango ; now, the calculations of the busy multitudes turn to 
the cultured field and productive mine. Then, California 
was a dependency of Mexico, and subject to revolutions, with 
the success of every daring military chieftain ; now, she is an 
independent State, with an enlightened constitution, which 
guarantees equal rights and privileges to all. Then, she was 
in arms against our flag ; now, she unrolls it on the breeze, 
with the star of her own being and pride glowing in the con- 
stellation which blazes on its folds. 

" Three years ago, and San Francisco contained three hun- 
dred souls ; now she has a population of twenty-seven thou- 
sand.* Then, a building- lot within her limits cost fifteen 
dollars ; now, the same lot cannot be purchased at a less sum 
than fifteen thousand. Then, her commerce was confined to a 
few Indian blankets, and Mexican reboses and beads ; now, 
from two to three hundred merchantmen are unloading their 
costly cargoes on her quay. Then, the famished whaler could 
hardly find a temporary relief in her markets ; now, she has 
phrenzied the world with her wealth. Then, Benicia was a 
pasture, covered with lowing herds ; now, she is a commercial 
mart, threatening to rival her sister nearer the sea. Then, 
Stockton and Sacramento City were covered with wild oats, 
where the elk and deer gamboled at will ; now, they are laced 
with streets and walled with warehouses, through which the 
great tide of commerce rolls off into a hundred mountain 
glens. Then, the banks of the Sacramento and San Joaquin 

* According to the last accounts, it has increased to 45,000. 


were cheered only by the curling smoke of the Indian's hut ; 
now, they throw on the eye, at every bend, the cheerful aspect 
of some new hamlet or town. Then, the silence of the Sierra 
Nevada was broken only by the voice of its streams ; now, 
every cavern and cliff' is echoing under the blows of the sturdy 
miner. The wild horse, startled in his glen, leaves on the hill 
the clatter of his hoofs, while the huge bear, roused from his 
patrimonial jungle, grimly retires to some new mountain-fast- 

" But I must drop this contrast of the past with the present, 
and glance at a few facts which affect the future. The gold 
deposits which have hitherto been discovered, are confined, 
mainly, to the banks and beds of perpetual streams, or the 
bottoms of ravines, through which roll the waters of the 
transient freshet. These deposits are the natural results of 
the law of gravitation ; the treasures which they contain must 
have been washed from the slopes cf the surrounding hills. 
The elevations, like spendthrifts, seein to have parted entirely 
with their golden inheritance, except what may linger still in 
the quartz. And these gold- containing quartz will be found 
to have their confined localities ; they will crown the insular 
peaks of a mountain-ridge, or fret the verge of some extin- 
guished volcano ; they have never been found in a continuous 
range, except in the dreams of enchantment ; you might as 
well look for a wall of diamonds or a solid bank of pearls. 
Nature has played off many a prodigal caprice in California, 
but a mountain of gold is not one of them. The alluvial gold, 
will, at no distant day, be measurably exhausted, and the 
miners be driven into the mountains. Here, the work can be 
successfully prosecuted only by companies, with heavy capi- 
tals. All the uncertainties which are connected with mining 
operations, will gather around these enterprises. Wealth will 


reward the labors of the few^ whose success was mainly the 
result of good fortune, while disappointment will attend the 
efforts of the many, equally skillful and persevering. These 
wide inequalities, in the proceeds of the miner's labor, have 
exhibited themselves, wherever a gold deposit has been 
hunted or found in California. The past is the reliable 
prophecy of the future. 

" Not one in ten of the thousands who have gone, or may go 
to California to hunt for gold, will return with a fortune ; 
still the great tide for emigration will set there, till her valleys 
and mountaia-glens teem with a hardy enterprising population. 
As the gold deposits dimmish, or become more difficult of 
access, the quicksilver mines will call forth their unflagging 
energies. This metal slumbers in her mountain-spurs in 
massive richness ; the process is simple which converts it into 
that form, through which the mechanic arts subserve the 
thousand purposes of science and social refinement, while the 
medical profession, through its strange abuse, keep up a Car- 
nival in the Court of Death ; but for this they who mine the 
ore are not responsible they will find their reward in the 
wealth which will follow their labors. It will be in their 
power to silence the hammers in those mines which have 
hitherto monopolized the markets of the world. 

But the enterprise and wealth of California are not confined 
to her mines. Her ample forests of oak, redwood and pine, 
only wait the requisite machinery to convert them into elegant 
residences and strong-ribbed ships. Her exhaustless quarries 
of granite and marble will yet pillar the domes of metropoli- 
tan splendor and pride. The hammer and drill will be 
relinquished by multitudes for the plough and sickle. Her 
arable land, stretching through her spacious valleys, and along 
the broad banks of her rivers, will wave with the golden har- 


vest ; the rain-cloud may not visit her in the summer months, 
but the mountain- stream will he induced to throw its showers 
over her thirsty plains. 

" Such was California a few years since such is she now, 
and such will she become even before they who now rush to 
her shores, find their footsteps within the shadows of the 
pale realm." 




CALIFORNIA was discovered by the Spaniards about 1534, 
and towards the close of the succeeding century, the Jesuits 
established themselves in it to convert the natives. The ef- 
forts of the missionaries have nominally converted about half 
the natives to Christianity, but the number of the native in- 
habitants are rapidly decreasing, and they do not number at 
present more than fourteen thousand. Though divided into 
many tribes, they are understood to belong to the same family, 
speaking the same language, und having similar manners and 

The stature of these people varies with their habits. Those 
who subsist chiefly on fish, and inhabit the sea-coast, are sel- 
dom more than five feet and six inches in height, with slender 
forms, while those who occupy the great valleys in the interior 
are tall and robust. Their complexion is a shade or two 
darker than that of the Indians in Oregon and about the 
Columbia ; their noses are broad and flat ; the hair is black, 
coarse, and straight, and their lips are thick, like the negro. 
The forehead is low and contracted ; eyebrows and beard 
scanty. They have the habit common to all American Indians 
of extracting the beard and hair of other parts of the body. 
During the summer months the men seldom conceal their 
nakedness ; but the females always have a rush or a skin- 
covering around the waist. The women are also fond of tat- 


tooing, and ornament their arms and breasts with it. Their 
habitations are formed of pliable poles, with their butts in- 
serted into the ground and tied together at the top. These 
are interwoven with brush and thatched with bulrushes ; the 
interior of these wigwams is usually very filthy, and contain 
no furniture, except a few wooden bowls, a small netting-sack 
in which to put their fruit and seeds, another in the form of a 
bag to sling on the shoulders, for the purpose of carrying their 
infants when traveling, one or two fishing-nets, and a sea- 
shell for dipping water to drink. 

Among some of the tribes, parentage and other relations of 
consanguinity are no obstacles to matrimony. A man often 
marries a whole family, the mother and daughters, and it is 
said that in such cases no jealousies ever appear among these 
families of wives. They seem to consider their offspring as 
the property of all, and the husband as their common protector. 

It is known that those tribes which have not embraced 
Christianity do nevertheless believe in the control of good and 
evil spirits, to whom they occasionally offer prayers ; and as a 
proof of their having some idea of a future state, they inva- 
riably deposit bows and arrrows, and cooking utensils in the 
graves of their dead. 

The part of Upper California inhabited by foreign settlers, 
is a tract extending five hundred miles along the shore of 
the Pacific, and bounded inland at an average distance of forty 
miles from the coast by a range of hills. The most southern 
portion of this region is torrid and parched, but as we proceed 
north, the climate becomes more favorable, though the country 
is subject to long and severe droughts, which occasion great 
distress. There are many streams in this part of California, 
which carry off the water in torrents to the ocean, during the 
rainy season, and cause the valleys which they water, to afford 


good pasturage for the cattle which are found there in large 
numbers. There are but two tracts of country capable of sup- 
porting a large population one west of Mount San Barnardino, 
and the other surrounding the Bay of San Francisco and the 
lower part of the Sacramento. To the east of the California 
Mountains are the vast sandy plains, of which but little is 
known ; nor have any attempts been made to explore the more 
northern portion of this section. 

The valleys of San Juan and that of Sacramento, are 
capable of producing great crops of wheat, rye, oats, Indian 
corn, potatoes, &c., with all the fruits and vegetables of the 
temperate, and many of the tropical climates. The cultiva- 
tion of the grape increases yearly, and the vineyards about the 
Missions yield most abundantly as finely-flavored fruit as 
there is to be found in any part of the world. 

All this portion of California is well adapted to the rearing 
of cattle and sheep ; they can find plenty of nutritious food 
the whole year round, and they require no watching. The 
mutton is of very fine flavor, and the usual price for a sheep 
is from one dollar to one dollar and a half. 

The Sacramento, and other rivers of California abound in 
salmon, and might be made a source of considerable profit. 
Many more valuable species are taken in these waters. 

The white and mixed population of this section is estimated 
at five thousand. They are robust and tall, and pride them- 
selves on their horsemanship ; they early become expert and 
fearless riders, and they have been known to ride upwards of 
two hundred miles in one day. Descended from the old 
Spaniards, they are found to have all their vices and scarcely 
any of their virtues ; they are cowardly, ignorant, lazy, and 
addicted to gambling and drinking ; very few of them are able 
to read or write, and know nothing of science or literature, 



nothing of government but its brutal force, nothing of religion 
but ceremonies of the national ritual. Their amusements are 
music, cock-fighting, bear-baiting, and horse-racing. Wed- 
dings generally last for three or four days, and usually end in 
some quarrel. The " cuchillo' 3 is always worn, and is 
resorted to in all their affrays. The females are very fond of 
dress, and their propensity for gambling is as great as that of 
the male portion of the community. 




THE Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Squadron, Com- 
modore Sloat, received reliable information, at Mazatlan, on 
the 7th of June, 1846, that the Mexican troops, six or seven 
thousand in number, had invaded the territory of the United 
States, and attacked General Taylor. He was told, that the 
American Squadron, under Commodore Conner, was blockad- 
ing the eastern coast, and he immediately sailed for Monterey, 
where he found the " Cyane" and "Levant." After an 
examination of the defences of the town, and completing his 
arrangements for capturing it, he sent Captain Mervine, on 
the 7th of July, to the governor of the town to demand its 
surrender, and on his declining to comply with the summons, 
it was taken by a detachment of two hundred and fifty seamen 
and marines from the vessels. Masters of the town, they 
speedily raised the American flag from the Custom-house, 
amid the cheers from the troops and bystanders, and a 
national salute from the squadron. A proclamation from 
the Commodore was then posted up, stating the existence of 
hostilities between Mexico and the United States, and his in- 
tention to take possession of all California. It also announced 
that, although the Commander-in-Chief came in arms, he 
came as a friend, and all the peacea.ble inhabitants of the 
country would be confirmed in the rights they then enjoyed, and , 
have in addition the superior advantages afforded to the people 



by the constitution and laws of the United States, under which 
they might reasonably hope to advance and improve rapidly, 
both in commerce and agriculture. Such of the inhabitants 
as were disposed to live peaceably under the government of 
the United States, were to be allowed time to dispose of their 
property, and to leave the country, if they chose, without any 
restriction, or to remain in it, in the observance of strict 
neutrality. The civil functionaries were desired to retain 
their offices, and preserve tranquillity ; and the people and 
clergy were assured of their being unmolested in their pro- 
perty, rights and possessions. Under the orders of the Com- 
modore, Captain Montgomery, with seventy sailors and marines 
of the United States sloop-of-war " Portsmouth," landed at 
the settlement of Yerba Buena, in the Bay of San Francisco, 
and took possession of that place. On the llth of July, 
Captain Montgomery informed the Commodore that the 
American flag was flying at Yerba Buena, at Sutter's Fort, 
at Bodega, and at Sonoura ; and added, that the protection of 
persons and property, which the American flag promised 
to the land and the people, was hailed with joy by the people, 
some of whom had enrolled themselves into a new company, 
under the auspices of the American officers, styled " The 
Volunteer Guards of Yerba Buena." On the day on which 
he sent this communication to the Commodore, a British vessel 
of twenty-six guns, the " Juno," arrived at San Francisco, and 
anchored. Captain Montgomery brought all his crew from 
the shore to the ship, with a view of defending his position, in 
case the English commander should think proper to interfere. 
The " Volunteer Guards of Yerba Buena" took upon them- 
selves the task of defending the flag of the United States, 
assuring the commander that it should wave while a single 
man of their body lived to defend it. Don Francisco Sancher, 


the military commander of the district, promptly complied with 
the requisition of Captain Montgomery, that he should come in 
and deliver up the arms and public propert} 7 in his possession. 
He assured the American commander that he had no public 
property, but told where several guns were buried. Lieut. 
Missroon, of the " Portsmouth," went to the Mission of 
Dolores, but found only a quantity of public documents, which 
were taken possession of and deposited in the Custom-house.. 

On the 13th of July, at their own request, Commodore 
Sloat furnished a flag to the foreigners of the Pueblo of San 
Jose, a place about seventy miles distant from the coast, and 
about eighty miles from Monterey. He had just completed 
the organization of a company of thirty-five dragoons, made up 
of volunteers from the ships and citizens, to reconnoitre the 
country, and keep open the land-communication between the 
different places held by the Americans. Purser Fauntleroy 
was appointed to command this body, and Mr. McLane was 
appointed first-lieutenant. On the 17th, Mr. Fauntleroy re- 
connoitered as far as the Mission of St. John's, intending to 
capture that place and recover ten brass field-pieces, said to 
have been buried there by the Mexicans some time previously. 
On his arrival there, he found the gallant Captain Fremont 
already in possession, and the two returned together to 
Monterey, the head-quarters of the Commodore. 

Captain Fremont had left Washington in 1845, to make a 
third expedition, for scientific purposes, to the regions west of 
the Rocky Mountains, and his arrangements for the journey 
contemplated only its legitimate objects. He took no officer 
or soldier with him ; and the whole company which he led, 
consisted of only sixty-two men, engaged by himself as se- 
curity against the Indians, and for assistants in the duties of 
his mission. He approached the settlements in California, 


about the beginning of the year 1846 ; and, as he was aware 
of the difficulties existing between the United States and 
Mexico, he determined to be very circumspect in his- conduct. 
He left his men on the frontiers, while he advanced alone a 
hundred miles to Monterey, where he visited the principal offi- 
cers of the Government, in company with the United States 
Consul and Navy Agent, Mr. Larkin. He informed them of 
his expedition, and its purposes, and Governor Castro gave 
him permission to pass the winter in the Valley of San 
Joaquin, where wft j feed for his horses and game for his men. 
Captain Fremont then returned to his men, and led them 
leisurely to the place designated, but he had hardly reached 
it, before he received orders from the Governor to leave the 
country. He was even threatened with forcible ejection, if he 
disobeyed the command. After the permission given him in 
person by Castro, Captain Fremont determined not to obey 
these uncourteous messages, and the Governor made great 
preparations to carry his threats into execution. Of these he 
was informed by Mr. Larkin, whom he answered by a letter, 
stating, that if Governor Castro brought against him an 
armed force, he should try to defend himself, though not one 
of his men had ever been a soldier. He, moreover, informed 
the Consul that he had hoisted the American flag, and he 
should keep it flying as the only protection he had to look to. 
On the 7"th of March, and the three following days, he em- 
ployed himself in fortifying his position, by erecting a breast- 
work of logs and brush. The position of the Americans was 
on a high hill, whence they could see with their telescopes the 
preparations of the Governor, in his camp at the Mission of 
St. John's. Mr. Larkin now received another letter from 
Captain Fremont, and at the earnest request of the Alcade, 
it was immediately translated into Spanish, and sent to the 


Governor. Here follows a portion of the letter : " I am 
making myself as strong as possible, in the intention that, if 
we are unjustly attacked, we will fight to extremity, and 
refuse quarter, trusting to our country to avenge our death. 
No one has reached our camp ; and from the heights we are 
able to see troops mustering at St. John's, and preparing can- 
non. I thank you for your kindness and good wishes, and 
would write more at length, as to my intentions, did I not fear 
my letter would be intercepted. We have in no- wise done 
wrong to the people, or the authorities of th$ country, and if 
we are hemmed in and assaulted here, we will die, every man 
of us, under the flag of our country." 

Castro continued his preparations for an attack against our 
countrymen, but he took special care not to crowd them too 

Not wishing, however, to be the cause of embroiling his 
nation in difficulties, Captain Fremont determined to abandon 
his mission, and return to the United States, rather than con- 
tinue it against the opposition of the Mexican authorities. 
Accordingly, on the 10th of March, he left his encampment, 
and retired towards Oregon, followed some distance by the 
forces commanded by the Governor, which amounted to four 
hundred men. But the valiant General always avoided com- 
ing to an action, and on the same day returned to Monterey, 
bringing with him some old clothes and two or three pack- 
saddles, all thrown away as useless, when our people struck 
their tents. These were paraded as trophies, and the Gover- 
nor published a placard, in which he announced, that a band 
of highwaymen, under Captain Fremont, of the United States 
army, had come into his department, but that he had chased 
them out with two hundred patriots, and if they dared to show 
themselves again about Monterey, he would march out to 


meet them, and destroy them to a man. About the middle 
of May, Captain Fremont arrived at the great Hamath Lake, 
in the Oregon Territory. He intended to return to the 
United States, by the Columbia and Missouri, through the 
northern pass in the Rocky Mountains ; but he found his pro- 
gress stopped by bands of hostile Indians, who had been 
stirred up against him, particularly the Hamath tribe, who 
killed and wounded several of his followers, in a night attack. 
Two days after, he had another fight with the same Indians, 
and destroyed one or two of their villages. It was in this 
engagement that Fremont saved Carson's life, as an Indian 
was about killing him. Captain Fremont now discovered that 
if he persevered in his route, he would have to fight almost 
every step of his way, besides marching over mountains on 
which the snow was still falling, and though he and his men 
were suffering from fatigue and famine, he remained for some 
days deliberating upon the proper course to pursue. 

From various sources he received information that Governor 
Castro was assembling troops, with the avowed object of at- 
tacking his party and all the American settlers, because, he 
alleged, the Captain had come for the purpose of inciting the 
settlers to revolt. 

With these facts before him, he at length determined upon 
the proper course to pursue, which was to turn back and act 
the offensive. On the llth of June, he struck the first blow. 
At day-light on that day he surprised an officer and fourteen 
men on the way to the Mexican camp, with two hundred 
horses for Castro's army. The horses were retained, and the 
officer and the men released. At early dawn on the 15th, the 
military rendzevous and intended head-quarters was surprised 
by the Americans, who captured there nine pieces of brass 
cannon, two hundred and fifty muskets, and other arms and 


ammunition, a general, a colonel, and many other officers. 
The gallant captain left a party of fourteen men here as a gar- 
rison, and repaired to the Rio de los Americanos, to obtain aid 
from the American settlers. While there an express arrived 
from Sonoma, with information of the approach of a large 
force under General Castro. He therefore immediately set 
out, with a force of ninety horsemen, armed with rifles, and 
traveled day and night. He reached Sonoma, after inarching 
eighty miles, at two o'clock on the morning of the 25th of 
June. On the same morning, a squadron of seventy dragoons, 
the vanguard of Castro's force, crossed the bay, and were at- 
tacked and defeated by a party of twenty Americans, with the 
loss of only two men killed. Two of Captain Fremont's men 
were taken by the Mexicans, and cut to pieces alive with 
knives. The Americans retaliated this cruel and cowardly 
act, by instantly shooting three of the enemy whom they had 
captured. Having cleared the north side of the bay of San 
Francisco of the Mexicans, Captain Fremont called the 
Americans together at Sonoma, addressed them upon the 
dangers of their situation, and recommended, as their only 
means of safety, a declaration of independence and war upon 
Castro and his troops. The independence was declared, and 
the war followed. A few days afterwards, they heard of the 
taking of Monterey by the American Squadron, and the 
existence of the war. The Star-spangled Banner was promptly 
substituted for that of the Californian revolutionist. The 
valiant Castro fled south at the head of nearly five hundred 
men, well armed ; and Captain Fremont, leaving some fifty 
men in garrisons, pursued him with a hundred and sixty rifle- 
men. It was at this stage of his proceedings that he met 
Purser Fauntleroy, and received Commodore Sloat's request 
that he would repair to Monterey. They arrived there on the 


.19th of July. Soon after Commodore Sloat resigned the com- 
mand of the naval forces to Commodore Stockton, and sailed 
for home to recruit- his health, which had been enfeebled by 
long and arduous services. This gallant and meritorious 
officer was highly applauded for his course by the government, 
having observed the line of conduct prescribed by his instruc- 
tions, " with such intelligence and fidelity, that no complaint 
has ever been made of any anauthorized aggression on his 

Commodore Stockton commenced his part of the conquest 
by organizing the " California Battalion of Mounted Rifle- 
men," appointing their officers, and receiving them into the 
service of the United States. Captain Fremont was appointed 
Major, and lieutenant Gillespie, Captain of the battalion. 
Major Fremont sailed with his battalion, in the United States 
ship " Cyane," for San Diego, in the hope of getting in ad- 
vance of General Castro, and cutting off his retreat. He 
arrived at San Diego on the 29th of July, but the Californians 
had driven off all the horses, and consequently he was unable 
to move until the 8th of August, when he resumed his pursuit. 
Commodore Stockton meanwhile had sailed to San Pedro, 
where he landed three hundred and sixty of the sailors belong- 
ing to his ship, the frigate " Congress." With this sailor- 
army he commenced his march towards the camp of Meza, a 
strongly-fortified position held by General Castro, three miles 
from the City of the Angels, and the capital of the Cali- 
fornians. On the approach of our gallant tars within sight of 
the Mexican camp, the General shamefully abandoned it and 
fled. His men followed his example, and ran away in all 
directions. Major Fremont joined the Commodore on the 
13th of August, with eighty mounted riflemen, and the united 
forces entered the City of the Angels, and took possession of 


the Government-house. On the 16th, Major Fremont again 
set off in pursuit of Castro, but it was soon found that 
the valiant Governor had made good his escape towards 
the city of Mexico. Most of his officers, however, were 
captured, and brought to the City of the Angels, where 
Commodore Stockton had been busy in establishing a civil 

The Commodore directed Major Fremont to increase his 
force and post it in garrisons in the different places : Fifty 
were to be stationed in the City of the Angels under Cap- 
tain Gillespie, fifty at Monterey, fifty at San Francisco, 
and twenty-five at Santa Barbara. He embarked for San 
Francisco to recruit, making, in the meanwhile, a temporary 
disposition of his forces. He took but forty men with 
him, and nine of these he left at Santa Barbara, in charge 
of Lieutenant Talbot. During his absence, on the 23d of 
September, a Californian army invested the City of the 
Angels, and by their superior numbers caused Captain Gil- 
lespie to surrender that place. He returned with his thirty 
riflemen to San Pedro, and from there sailed for Monterey. 
The Californian Chief, Manual Gaspar, then led two hun- 
dred of his men against Santa Barbara, but Lieut. Talbot 
and his nine men defended themselves with heroic courage. 
He held the town until he was completely besieged, and then 
refusing to surrender, fought his way through the enemy to 
the mountains of the vicinity, where he remained eight days, 
suffering from cold and hunger. A detachment of forty men 
advanced to take him, but was driven back. They then offered 
to permit him to retire, if he would pledge himself and his men 
to neutrality during the war, but he sent word to the Mexican 
Chief that he preferred to fight. At length, finding that 
neither force or persuasion would cause him to leave his posi- 


tion, they set fire to the grass and brush around him and 
burned him out. Still determined not to surrender, he com- 
menced a march of five hundred miles to Monterey a-foot, 
where his arrival was hailed with the utmost joy by all the 
Americans. The brave fellows were welcomed by their com- 
panions as from the grave ; for the enemy had reported that 
they had all been slain. 

Major Fremont had made an effort to go from San Fran- 
cisco to the relief of Captain Gillespie, but he was forced 
back to Monterey by bad weather. A few days after the 
arrival of Lieutenant Tp.lbot, a party of fifty-seven Americans, 
under Captains Burrows and Thompson, were attacked by the 
Californians, eighty in number. Captain Burrows and three 
Americans were slain. Major Fremont marched to their 
assistance, and the whole party arrived at San Fernando on 
the llth of January, 1847. 

While these events were passing in California, General 
Kearney was on his way from the United States, with a force 
intended to conquer that country. On the 6th of October, he 
met Carson, with fifteen men, coming as an express from the 
City of the Angels, with an account of the conquest of that 
country by Commodore Stockton and Major Fremont. In con- 
sequence of this intelligence, the General sent back the greater 
part of his troops. On the 5th of December, he met Captain 
Gillespie coming with a small party of volunteers, to give him 
information of the state of the country. Captain Gillespie 
informed him that there was an armed party of Californians, 
with a number of extra horses, encamped at San Pasquel, 
three leagues distant. General Kearney immediately set out 
to meet them, in the double hope of gaining a victory and a 
remount for his poor soldiers, who had completely worn out 
their horses in the march from Santa Fe. The Californians 


were numerous, and a desperate fight ensued, which at one 
time well nigh proved fatal to the Americans, their line be- 
coming scattered by the sorry condition of the animals on 
which some of them were mounted. Captain Johnson made 
a furious charge upon the enemy with the advance guard. He 
fell almost in the very commencement of the fight, but the 
courage of our countrymen did not flag, and the enemy was 
eventually forced to retreat. Captain Moore led off rapidly 
in pursuit, but the mules of the dragoons could not keep up 
with his horses, and the enemy seeing the break in the line, 
renewed the action, and charged with the lance, in the use 
of which they are very expert. They fought well, and 
the American loss was heavy. General Kearney himself 
was wounded in two places, Captain Gillespie and Lieu- 
tenant Warner each in three, and Captain Gibson and 
eleven others were also wounded, having from two to ten 
marks of lances on their bodies. Captain Johnson, Captain 
Moore, Lieutenant Hammond, two sergeants, two corporals, 
eleven privates, and a man attached to the topographical de- 
partment, were slain. The severe wounds of the actors in 
this fight caused the march of the army to be delayed, and it 
did not reach San Diego until the 12th of December. 

When Commodore Stockton heard of the outbreak of the 
Californians, he dispatched the frigate " Savannah " to relieve 
Captain Gillespie, but she arrived too late. Three hundred 
and twenty of her crew landed and marched towards the City 
of the Angels, but the Californians met them, well appointed 
with fine horses and artillery, and though the sailors fought 
heroically, they were eventually compelled to retire before 
such an overwhelming superiority of numbers. They lost 
eleven in killed and wounded. Commodore Stockton came 
down himself to San Pedro in the " Congress," and made an- 


other march upon the City of the Angels with a detachment of 
sailors, who now took some of the ship's cannons with them, 
dragged by hand with ropes. At the Rancho Sepulrida, they 
encountered the enemy, who were decoyed by Commodore 
Stockton into a favorable position, and then fired upon with 
the guns which had been concealed from their view. More than 
a hundred were killed, one hundred and fifty wounded, a hun- 
dred taken prisoners, and the whole force of the Californians 
put to flight. Mounted on horses, while the sailors were on 
foot, the enemy had, hitherto, the advantage of choosing his 
own time, place, and distance of attack, but the means of 
transportation were placed by this splendid victory in the 
hands of the sailors, and as soon as they could be mounted, a 
series of skirmishes were commenced, in which they displayed 
the utmost courage and activity. 

Commodore Stockton found General Kearney at San Diego. 
This meeting was opportune ; and the two commanders im- 
mediately proceeded to fix upon a plan for bringing the war to 
a speedy termination. On the 29th of December, their forces 
composed of sixty dismounted dragoons, fifty California Vol- 
unteers, and four hundred sailors and marines, started on the 
march from San Diego to the City of the Angels. At the Rio 
San Gabriel they found the enemy in a strong position, with 
six hundred mounted men and four field pieces, prepared to 
dispute the passage of the river. The battle was fought on 
the 8th of January, 1847. The Americans waded through 
the water under a galling fire, dragging their guns after them. 
They reserved their own fire until they reached the opposite 
side of the river ; here they repelled a charge of the enemy, 
and then charged up the bank ; and after fighting about one 
hour became masters of the field. The enemy made another 
stand on the plains of Mera, in the hope of saving the capital ; 


but they were again driven from the field, and on the 10th the 
American army entered the capital in triumph. They had 
lost one private killed, and thirteen of their number wounded 
in the two fights. The enemy carried 'off their dead and 
wounded, so that the extent of their loss is unknown, but both 
General Kearney and Commodore Stockton estimate it at 
between seventy and eighty. The insurgents fled and sur- 
rendered to Major Fremont, who met them as he was ap- 
proaching the capital. 

Major Fremont joined the forces of Kearney and Stockton 
at the City of the Angels on the 15th of January, and it. was 
here the misunderstanding arose between General Kearney and 
himself, which for so long a time excited public attention. In 
January, 184T, Commodore Slmbrick arrived at Monterey, 
and assumed the command of the naval forces on that station. 
Soon after this Cieutenant-Colonel Cooke joined General 
Kearney at San Diego with the Mormon battalion, which 
enabled the General to provide against any reinforcements 
from the Mexican province of Senoura to the Californians, 
by stationing it as a guard and garrison at the Mission of 
San Luis Rego. Captain Tompkins arrived in the country in 
February, with his company of U. S. Artillery, and was 
stationed at Monterey, and the arrival of Colonel Steven- 
son, with his regiment of New York Volunteers, formed such 
a force as was considered sufficient to overawe all disaffec- 
tion and opposition. 

In July, three companies of the New York regiment 
were stationed at La Paz, in Lower California, under Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Burton. They numbered about one hundred 
men, with two pieces of artillery. The United States sloop-of- 
war " Dale" cruised for some time in the vicinity, and afforded 
protection to the garrison in La Paz, but Commodore Shu- 


brick ordered the " Dale" to Guaymas. This emboldened the 
enemy, who collected all their disposable force and marched 
against the little garrison. The battle was begun on the 
morning of the 16th, at two o'clock ; a loud roll of musketry, 
followed by shouts, gave the sleeping soldiers the first notice 
of the enemy's presence. The Americans stood to their posts 
amid a shower of bullets, although the night was so dark that 
they were unable to see the foe, except by the flashing of the 
musketry. They brought their artillery to bear in the direc- 
tion of the enemy's position, and a few discharges was followed, 
by a complete silence. At day-light the enemy was seen to be 
posted on a hill near by, waiting until the women and children 
had been removed from the town to renew the attack. The 
garrison availed themselves of the pause to fortify the roofs of 
their quarters with bales of cotton. The enemy gained pos- 
session of the bushes surrounding the camp, and kept up a 
heavy fire from eight o'clock until night. All the stratagems 
of the garrison failed to induce them to come nearer, yet 
Colonel Burton lost only one man. 

In the afternoon the enemy entered the town, and destroyed 
the houses of all who had been favorable to the Americans. 
On the 20th they dragged a piece of artillery on the most 
commanding site in the town. A hot fire then commenced on 
both sides, which resulted in the defeat of the Mexicans. 
They had six of their number killed and forty-four wounded, 
while the loss of Colonel Burton was only three men. After 
this repulse the enemy distributed themselves in the neighbor- 
hood, to cut off supplies from the Americans. 

Meanwhile a force of nearly four hundred of the insurgents 
marched upon San Jose, where Lieutenant Heywood of the 
navy was stationed with twenty men and one nine-pounder. 
He was besieged for thirty days, but he refused to surrender, 


despite of thirst and famine. On the night of the second day, 
a grand assault was made. The leader of the Californians, 
Mejares, led forty men against the front of the post, while 
more than a hundred men, with scaling-ladders, came upon 
the rear. The nine-pounder opened upon them, killed Mejares 
and three of his soldiers, and drove the remainder back in 
great disorder. A firing was kept up until morning, when two 
American whalers entered the harbor, the crews of which 
landed, and with this assistance Lieutenant Heywood soon put 
the enemy to flight. In the month of October, the frigate 
" Congress" and the sloop-of-war " Portsmouth" captured 
the town of Guaymas, which was garrisoned by eight hundred 
efficient men. 

The country now became quiet, and by the terms of the 
treaty of peace between the two governments, the boundary 
line was made to run along the southern line of New Mexi- 
co to its westward termination, thence northwardly along the 
western line of New Mexico until it intersects the first branch 
of the river Gila, thence down the middle of said branch and 
of the said river until it empties into the Rio Colorado, follow- 
ing the division-line between Upper and Lower California to 
the ocean. Agreeably to this treaty the American forces 
abandoned the posts they held in Lower California. 

The discovery of Gold in the waters of the Sacramento and 
other streams, as also among the rocks and in the mountains, 
has drawn to the country thousands of emigrants from the 
United States and other parts of the globe, and it bids fair to 
become at an early day one of the most populous of the ter- 
ritories of the United States. 




ON the 25th of October I received orders to join the brig 
" Oregon ;" this vessel was purchased by Captain Wilkes 
after the loss of the " Peacock " for the sum of 9,000 dollars. 
She was built in Baltimore, is of 170 tons burthen, was origi- 
nally named " Thomas Perkins," came out to the Sandwich 
Islands with an assorted cargo, and when purchased was lying 
at Astoria taking in a quantity of salmon. In a day or two 
after having been purchased, she was stripped, and her masts 
lifted and made several feet shorter, after which she pro- 
ceeded up to Vancouver, where she underwent some further 
alterations and repairs. After these changes were made, 
Captain Hudson repaired on board and took command, and on 
the 21st of September, she got under-way, in company with 
the " Porpoise," and dropped down to Fort George, (Astoria,) 
where she laid until the 12th of October, when she sailed for 
San Francisco. Captain Hudson then gave up the command, 
and repaired to the " Vincennes," and Lieutenant Overton 
Carr was ordered in his stead. 

October 81st. At 3.30 P. M. we got under-way in com- 
pany with the "Vincennes" and the "Porpoise," and pro- 
ceeded to sea. The wind being a-head, we were compelled to 
beat, which afforded us a fine opportunity of seeing the Bay. 
In one of the stretches we stood on until our jib-boom almost 
touched the cliff on which the Precidio is situated. This was 



built by the Spaniards, and while they retained possession of 
the country was strongly fortified and well garrisoned. 

About 7 P. M., the flood-tide begun to make, and we were 
compelled to let-go the anchor. During the night the weather 
was thick and disagreeable, and a heavy swell set in from the 

On the morning of November 1st, we again tripped our 
anchor. At 11 discovered the " Vincennes" under sail on 
our starboard quarter, but soon lost sight of her from the 
density of the fog. Nor did we see anything of her until about 
1 o'clock, when we observed both her and the " Porpoise" 
lying at anchor. We wore ship, and bore down for them, 
and when close a-board spoke with the " Vincennes." We 
then hove-to, and continued to remain so until about half-past 
4, when both vessels proceeded to sea, ourselves following in 
their wake. In communicating with the " Vincennes," we 
learned that she experienced a very uncomfortable night. 
Having anchored right over the bar, she felt the swell much 
more than either the " Porpoise" or ourselves. She rolled 
almost gunwales under, and several seas broke on board, one 
of which swept away a portion of her bulwarks, and killed one 
of the crew. It is understood that we are bound to the Sand- 
wich Islands. 

On the 6th, the " Vincennes" and " Porpoise" parted 
company with us. 

On the 8th, we passed over the position of Cooper's Island, 
as given upon Arrowsmith's Chart, but saw no indications of 
land. At noon our latitude was 25 45' 55" north, longitude 
132 16' 15" west. 

At 11 A. M. on the 19th, we reached Honolulu, where we 
found the remainder of the squadron. 
, Our principal object in returning to Honolulu was, to fill 


up with provisions and water. This being accomplished, we 
again spread our sails, and on the 22d of January we reached 
Singapore, where we found the United States frigate 
" Constellation," Commodore Kearney, and the sloop-of-war 
" Boston," Captain Long, forming the East India Squadron. 
We communicated with both vessels, and received some late 
newspapers from them. 

The Island of Singapore is twenty- seven miles long, and 
from five to fifteen miles wide. It is separated from the penin- 
sula of Malacca by the Strait of Singapore, formerly followed 
by navigators, instead of the one which is now universally 
used. We were informed that the interior of the island is 
infested with tigers, and that it is a common thing for the in- 
habitants to be destroyed by them within a few miles of the 
town. Owing to these attacks, the Government has been in- 
duced to offer a premium of fifty dollars for every tiger that 
should be killed, and parties have been organized, which fre- 
quently go out to hunt these ferocious animals. 

The situation of the town* is low, for which reason it does 
not appear to advantage from the anchorage. It covers a great 
extent of ground, and many of the buildings are spacious, and 
built in the European style. The Governor's dwelling is situ- 
ated on the summit of a knoll which overlooks the city and 
harbor. In the rear of the European buildings are the loca- 
tions of the Malay and Chinese quarters. The houses of the 
former are built on posts rising four or five feet above the 
ground. The object of this is to keep the houses dry during 
the rainy seasons, and to prevent reptiles and other noxious 
animals from entering them. 

As for the inhabitants, a more motley crowd in color and 

* The town bears the same name as the island. 


costume cannot well be conceived. The language of nearly 
every Asiatic nation throws its peculiar accents on the ear. 

The trades, like most of the eastern cities, are carried on in 
the streets. Some of the streets are exclusively inhabited by 
castes who work at the same trade. In one may be seen 
the workmen in brass and copper, which department of trade 
generally embraces the manufacture of cooking-pans, lamps, 
and drinking vessels, and similar articles of domestic use ; for 
all these things are made of copper and brass, and hammered 
out to the proper size and shape by manual labor. In another 
street, you see the palankeen builders, house-joiners, cabinet- 
makers, shoemakers, tailors, blacksmiths, and so on. The 
money-changers take up their position at the corner of the 
streets, with their little tables before them ready to transact 
business at a moment's notice. These men act sometimes in 
the capacity of pawnbrokers, by lending small sums of money 
upon the gold and silver ornaments which all here possess in 
a greater or less degree. The opium vender has also his little 
table in the public street, with his box and scales upon it, and 
tempting samples of the "dreamy drug." 

This fearful species of intoxication is more generally prac- 
tised among the people of British India, than has been com- 
monly supposed. The Mohammedans are particularly addicted 
to its use, and much of the apathy and indifference observable 
in the native character, may be attributed to this universal 
evil, w T hich would seem to be daily gaining ground among 
them. Few can be surprised that the Emperor of China is 
so anxious to prevent the importation of opium* into his do- 

* The engrossing taste of all ranks and degrees in China, for opium, a drug 
whose importation has of late years exceeded the aggregate value of every other 
English import combined, deserves some particular notice, especially in connection 
with the revenues of British India, of which it forma an important item. The 
use of this pernicious narcotic has become as extensive as the increasing demand 
for -it was rapid from the first. Chintst Repository. 


minions by the English. Well might this monarch regard 
that potent drug as a curse to a nation, which has already 
begun to suffer from its dangerous seduction, and which shows 
for it a decided taste. 

A single glance of these opium dealers will convince you 
that they are their own best customers. Their soiled and dis- 
orderly dress, the palsied hand and pale cheek, the sunken 
eye and vacant stare of each of these wretched men, show 
you that they are not themselves. 

The Chinese Bazaar is filled with goods manufactured in 
that industrious country. Here you may purchase beautiful 
Canton shawls, for fifteen or twenty dollars, rich silks and 
satins, carved ivory-work in chessmen, backgammon boxes, 
card-cases, grass-cloth handkerchiefs, vases, chimney-piece 
ornaments, tea-pots, and the familiar little tea-cups and sau- 
cers so highly esteemed by the ladies. There are also found 
here camphor-wood trunks, so useful to preserve clothing, 
books, and furs, from the white ants, which are so destructive 
to this sort of property. 

But in trading with the Chinese, it is necessary to be care- 
ful. They call all Europeans " foreign devils," and consider 
them a fair game. But the greatest cheats among them are 
those who come off to the ships to sell their goods, as these 
not only ask the highest prices, but invariably give you a bad 

The Chinese are very numerous in Singapore, and all seem 
to be industrious. They dress after the manner of their 
country ; and we saw some whose queus almost touched the 
ground. It is said that they return home as soon as they 
have acquired something like a competency, though they run 
the risk of being punished by the Emperor, for having left 
China. They have a popular saying, " If he, who attains to 


honors or wealth, never returns to his native place, he is like 
a finely-dressed person walking in the dark it is all thrown 

The extent to which they carried gaming, after the regular 
business hours were over, could not fail to attract our atten- 
tion. Gaming was going on in all their shops and houses, and 
their whole soul seemed to be staked with their money. They 
use cards and dice ; but their games are different from our 
own. The stake in general was a small copper coin, not 
larger than a dime. It was also observed, that they are pas- 
sionately fond of theatrical entertainments. These take. place 
under a temporary shed, which is only large enough to accpm- 
modate the performers. The interior is decorated with silk 
hangings, and illuminated with many colored lamps. The 
stage is furnished with a table and chairs, but without scenical 
decorations to assist the story, as in our theatres. The actors 
are magnificently dressed in silk and gold cloth, adorned with 
jewels. The females are represented by young men. I 
cannot say much for the acting, or music ; the former appeared 
stiff, the latter a perfect jargon. 

One day I visited their principal Josh-house, or temple. 
It is a very singular-looking edifice ; the roof is surmounted 
with dragons, and a thousand of other whimsical devices. 
The columns supporting the front are likewise very curiously 
sculptured. It has no windows ; and the main entrance, in- 
stead of being in the centre of the building, is near one of the 
corners. Its interior may be described as a square court, sur- 
rounded by a portico filled with niches, containing the wooden 
images to which adoration is paid. The space in the centre 
of the court is paved and furnished with seats, which are 
occupied by the worshipers. All the idols are representations 
of the human form in its most bulky aspect ; they seemed to 



have quite as much circumference as height. One of them 
was a female figure, dressed in silks, and painted, with much 
tinsel and gilding about the head. In front of each idol were 
altars, on which were Josh-sticks burning, colored wax-candles, 
flowers, dried fruits, and sugar-plums wrapped up in colored 
paper. At the time I entered, the priesthood, five in number, 
were assembled, worshiping, chanting, striking gongs, and 
frequently prostrating themselves before their wooden-deities. 
This mummery lasted nearly half an hour, and the priests ap- 
peared to go through it with devotion. They were all young 
men, had the crown of their heads shaved, and wore long 
yellow robes. As soon as the mummery had ceased, they left 
the temple, retired to their private apartments, and divested 
themselves of their official robes ; and the gods were left to 
themselves, with the Josh-sticks burning on the altars. 

On another day I set out to visit the Mohammedan Mosque, 
but I found the entrance of this guarded by two or three 
stupid-looking fellows, who would not allow me admittance, 
although I offered to take off my shoes before entering. It is 
a neat, handsome building externally, but only the upper por- 
tion of it can be seen when viewed from the street, as it stands 
at the further end of a long court, surrounded by a high stone 
wall. Its mineret is kept white-washed, and forms a beautiful 
and a conspicuous object in the landscape. 

The majority of the Mohammedans at Singapore are 
Malays and their descendants, and it is universally conceded 
by travelers that they constitute the most worthless part of 
the population, being excessively lazy, treacherous, quarrel- 
some, and addicted to the use of opium. 

The color of their skin is several shades darker than that 
of the Chinese, and they usually wear moustaches and beard. 
Their "dress consists of a white turban, a shirt with very 


ample sleeves, a colored embroidered vest, fitting tight to the 
body, loose trowsers made of white cotton cloth, and yellow 
or red slippers. To beautify themselves, they chew the betal- 
nut, which causes their teeth to become as black as ebony. 
They make good soldiers, or sepoys, and many of them are 
employed to act in that capacity by the British East India 
Government. The women, who are not so much exposed to 
the rays of the sun, are less tawny than the men ; their coun- 
tenance is comely, their hair black and fine ; they have a deli- 
cate hand, brilliant eyes, and a graceful figure. 

There are many Parsees residing in Singapore, and some 
of the best shops are kept by them ; they prefer trading in 
English and French goods, which they have consigned to them, 
or purchase at the auctions. Some of them have acquired 
large fortunes, and live in a princely style. They are a hand- 
some race, and there is an easy grace about all their move- 
ments. The ladies pass their lives in great seclusion from 
the world, for they are supposed to lose caste if they appear in 

The Persic language is celebrated for its strength, beauty, 
and melody, and they write it from the right to the left. 

The Parsees* do not tolerate polygamy, unless the first wife 
prove barren, nor do their laws allow concubinage. They 
cannot eat or drink out of the same vessel with one of a dif- 
ferent religion, nor are they fond even of using the cup of 
another, for fear of partaking of his sins. Their religion, 
however, admits of proselytism. They have no fasts, and re- 
ject everything of the nature of penance. God, they say, 
delights in the happiness of his creatures ; and they hold it 
meritorious to enjoy the best of everything they can obtain. 

* The Hindoos say the Persees are outcasts of Persia ; but this they indignantly 
deny, though it is supposed many of them were driven out in the eighth century. 


Birds and beasts of prey, the dog and the hare, are forbidden 
as food. Their faith inculcates general benevolence, to be 
honest in bargains, to be kind to one's cattle, and faithful to 
masters ; to give the priests their due, physicians their fees, 
and these last are enjoined to try their sanitory experiments 
on infidels before practising on Parsees. They never willingly 
throw filth either into fire or water. This reverence for the 
elements prevents them from being sailors, as in a long voyage 
they might be forced to defile the sea. 

When a relation is dying, they recite over him prescribed 
prayers, arid have a dog at hand to drive away the evil spirits 
that flock around the bed ; after death the body is dressed 
in old but clean clothes, and conveyed on an iron frame to the 
tomb on the shoulders of the bearers, who are tied together 
with a piece of tape, in order to deter the demons, which are 
supposed to be hovering near, from molesting the corpse. It 
is well known that they neither burn nor bury their dead. 
They have circular towers called dockmehs, in which are con- 
structed inclined planes, and on these they expose the bodies, 
courting the fowls of the air to feed upon them. They even 
draw augeries regarding the happiness or misery of the de- 
ceased, according as the left eye or the right eye is first picked 
out by the vultures. 

There are several pleasant rides about Singapore The sur- 
rounding country is interspersed with groves and gardens, 
and the roads are good, and free from dust, for almost 
every day in the year the island is visited by one or two re- 
freshing showers. The vehicle most used is the palankeen, 
which is capable of containing two persons ; it is drawn by a 
single horse, and the driver, who is usually a Malay, runs by 
the side of a carriage ; the charge for a whole day is a dollar, 
and it is customary to give something to the driver. 


There are good markets in Singapore for the sale of butcher's 
meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables. Everything in the shape of 
food'is very cheap, and our mess bill was as small here as at 
any place we visited in the course of our long cruise. 

Some idea may be formed of the commerce of Singapore, 
when it is stated, that, for the last two or three years, it has 
been valued at $25,000,000. It is a free port ; there are no 
duties on imports or exports, and every vessel is allowed to 
come and go when it pleases. There are many articles shipped 
here which are the products of other places ; among these 
are opium, nutmegs, cloves, coffee, sugar, teas, and a variety 
of shells. Business is conducted upon a sure basis ; payment 
must be made at the delivery of the goods. Accounts are 
kept in dollars and cents, and almost every thing is sold by 

On the 25th of February we sailed for St. Helena, where 
we arrived after a pleasant passage of thirteen days. 



THE appearance which St. Helena presents, when viewed 
from the ocean, is anything but inviting; nearly the whole 
of its coast is steep and perpendicular like a wall, dotted here 
and there with miserably stunted trees. 

The island was discovered by the Portuguese on the 21st 
of May, in the year 1502, and was called by them St. Helena, 
from the fact that the same day was the anniversary of the 
Empress Helena, a Saint in the Roman Catholic calendar. 

In a valley, where they found a productive soil and abun- 
dance of excellent water, the discoverers planted a small 
colony ; they also stocked the valley with goats, horses, cattle, 
and many other animals useful to man, which soon multiplied 
and spread over the whole island. > 

About the year 1651, the English East India Company 
took possession of the island, it having been abandoned some 
time before by the Dutch, who took it from the Portuguese in 
the early part of the 17th century. The English introduced 
into the island, as the Portuguese had done before them, 
horses, sheep, grains and fruits. Tempting inducements were 
held out to emigrants, and many were induced to settle in its 
rich and romantic valleys. 

In 1815, the island became the involuntary residence of 
Napoleon, a circumstance which has shed over it undying in- 
terest, and rendered its name in every part of the civilized 
globe as familiar as a household word. 

354 ST. HELENA. 

The island remained in the hands of the East India Com- 
pany until 1836, when it was transferred to the British 

The climate is salubrious. One old voyager who describes 
it, informs us that the sick men who had been carried on 
shore in hammocks, and utterly unable to walk, were cured 
and made perfect in a week's time, and were soon able to 
" leap and dance " as well as their companions. All of which 
wonderful effects were attributed the wholesomeness of the air, 
and the fresh trade-winds constantly sweeping over the island, 
and driving away all distempers. 

The population is estimated at five thousand, and consists 
of whites, negroes, mulattoes, and Chinese. The negroes were 
brought to the island by the East India Company from Mada- 
gascar, and were treated as slaves until the year 1823 ; they 
and their descendants now form the largest portion of the 

Vessels going to and from the East Indies usually touch 
at the island to replenish their stock of water and procure 
fresh provisions. 

Jamestown, the capital, is the largest town that the island 
can boast of, and is a free port. It is situated in a valley, 
or rather a gorge between two lofty hills, beth of which ter- 
minate abruptly, and form the eastern and western boundaries 
of the town, as also a small bay in which the vessels anchor 
that visit the place. The harbor is defended by fortifica- 
tions, which cover the shore from the water-line to the highest 
peaks. A ladder, of nearly a perpendicular height, is built 
up the side of the western mountain, called Ladder Hill. It 
is said to have five hundred steps in it, and is a conspicuous 
object from the anchorage. 

The landing is convenient for visitors and trade ; it is fur- 


nished with a stone stairs and a crane for loading and unload- 
ing boats. From the landing a good road leads toward the 
town at the mouth of the valley, which is protected from an 
attack by sea by a ditch and a high massive wall, bristling 
with guns. 

There is but one entrance into the town, and that is closed 
at nightfall. There are also sentinels stationed here at all 
hours. Just beyond the gateway is the grand parade, around 
which stand the church, the principal hotel of the place, 'and 
the building occupied by Napoleon on his first landing. 

The houses are from one to two stories in height, and have 
their walls painted white or yellow. Some of them are also 
furnished with verandahs. 

The market is good, but meats and eggs are excessively 
dear. The price for beef is 20 cents per Ib. ; mutton, 18 
cents ; eggs, 50 cents per dozen. 

Of course, before leaving the island, we rode out to Long- 
wood, and the tomb. Our conveyance was a covered carriage, 
drawn by a pair of horses, and just large enough to accommo- 
date two persons comfortably. 

The road we pursued, and there is no other leading to the 
tomb from the town, is cut on the side of the eastern hill, 
which gradually rises to an elevation of upwards of a thousand 
feet. This afforded us several fine views of Jamestown We 
could see all the houses, the gardens, the soldiers' hospital, 
the barracks, the church, the botanic garden, and the grand 

After leaving the town we did not fall in with a solitary 
tree until we reached the head of the valley. Here the soil is 
capable of cultivation, and we passed many a garden in which 
were to be seen, besides a great variety of vegetables, trelisses 
of vines,' from which depended clusters of the tempting and 

356 ST. HELENA. 

delicious fruit, peach, almond and date trees, and patches of 
flowers, among which the rose and pink were conspicuous. 
We likewise observed on our right and left, but some miles in 
the distance, a succession of hills in wood, looking verdant, 
cool and beautiful. 

The next object which attracted our attention was the 
" Briars," a little hamlet, composed of some half-dozen cot- 
tages, one of which was the residence of the ex-Emperor, until 
Long wood could be prepared for his reception. It is a small, 
quaint building, with a high, steep roof, gable ends, and a 
verandah. The grounds attached to it are also of limited ex- 
tent, and surrounded by a common stone- wall. Indeed, there 
is scarcely a New England farmer whose abode is not superior 
to it in every respect. Yet I was informed by the inhabitants 
that Napoleon preferred the place to better houses in the 
town, where he would be annoyed by the curiosity of the 

The road beyond the " Briars " is winding, and presents a 
great variety of landscape. In one place it sweeps by thick 
hedges, inclosing fields in which sheep, cattle, and horses are 
feeding ; in another, it passes through dark masses of fir and 
pine ; in another, it runs down into a deep ravine ; and . in 
another again, it traverses a plain overshadowed with trees 
and sprinkled with cottages, looking so neat and prim that one 
cannot help envying their owners, and wish that he could 
share with them the delights which such charming abodes must 

Not many yards distant from these sylvan residences, lies a 
dell, shut in by hills, covered with grass and brambles. At 
the foot of the most lofty hill stands a lonely cottage, sur- 
rounded by trees a little beyond the solitary dwelling, 
among some weeping willows, and two or three melancholy 


cypress, is the Tomb. The spot is private property, belonging 
to the widow lady, Mrs. Talbot, who occupies the cottage, and 
who furnishes visitors with refreshments. There is a poetic 
effusion in the u Visitors' Book," alluding to the circumstance 
last mentioned : 

" There you will find an excellent cheer, 
Bi^ad and cheese, and ale and beer ; 
And while Mrs. T. gives bread and butter, 
Its my intention never to cut her." 

One end of the iron railing round the Tomb is open for the 
purpose of admitting visitors. The grave remains uncovered, 
or just as the French left it when they exhumed the body. 

" Napoleon 's gone ! the Island Tomb 

No more his corpse contains ; 
A prince and noble ship have come, 
And taken his remains." 

What remained of the original willows planted by the hand 
of Madame Bertrand around the Tomb, were carried away by 
Prince Joinville, as well as the slabs that closed the recess in 
which the coffin was placed. The Tomb is carried only a few 
feet above the ground, and is utterly devoid of ornament ; nor 
does it bear any date, name, or inscription. The location is a 
very appropriate one, but the tomb itself excites our disgust 
and indignation, for the inference is, that the enemies of 
Napoleon sought to gratify their animosity after his death, by 
insulting his remains, than which nothing can be more despi- 
cable and unmanly. The slabs taken away by Prince Join- 
ville formed a part of the kitchen -hearth of the house at 
Longwood ! 

Mrs. Talbot resided at the cottage while the Emperor was 
living, and she informed us that the site of the grave was 

358 ST. HELENA. 

chosen by himself. She also pointed out to us the spring near 
the cottage, which supplied him with water up to the day of 
his death. 

One pleasant afternoon while walking through the grounds, 
Napoleon observed the spring, admired its beautiful pebbly 
bottom, dipped up some of the water with his hand, and drank 
it, found it to be delightfully cool, refreshing, and delicious ; 
he requested that while he lived he might be allowed to obtain 
all his water from the same spring, and the favor was 

Mrs. Talbot hinted to us, as she had done before about the 
refreshments, that it was customary for visitors to purchase 
some of the water by way of paying her for seeing the Tomb, 
and we were not slow in taking the hint. Each of us filled 
a quart bottle with the precious liquid, for which she received 
several dollars. We had also to satisfy the demands of the 
garrulous old sergeant who exhibits the Tomb, so that alto- 
gether it was expensive sight-seeing. 

The old fellow's account, rattled off as it was by him, 
amused me much, and I took care to write it down on the 
spot. The following is a correct copy of the original : 
" Misters, how d'ye do ? Fine day to see sights, gentlemen. 
Well, misters, here's the railing round the ground, and there's 
the paling round the tomb, eight feet deep, six feet long, and 
three feet wide. Napoleon was buried in three coffins, one in 
another his head was here his feet was there ; he was 
dressed in a green coat, white breeches, and jack-boots beau- 
tifully polished, with his cocked hat between his legs, and his 
heart in a silver pot at his feet. All the island came to the 
funeral, and the soldiers fired a royal salute. These are not 
the willers that have been taken away, but I have got some 
slips from the real tree in charge of my good woman will you 


come and look at them, misters 1 They are the best that can 
be had, mister. That's a fine one ; yes, indeed, h 'ill grow 
stick him in this bottle ; its worth two shillings, any man's 
money, but you may have it for one. Hum ! thank you, mis- 
ter, and God bless you, and all like you. This is the spring, 
and that's the water; here's a mug to taste; oh! it is 
cool, just as Napoleon used to drink it, when he came here 
afore he was buried, to play with Madame Bertrand's chil- 
dren, and read there where the willers used to stand what are 
gone now, the present time. Here's the Visitors' Book, what 
they write their names in here, this way, in the sentry-box 
here's the ink, and there's the pen ; please to write your 
name, all you gentlemen A-hem ! : it-4s"fuTl of poetry in all 
kinds of lingoes. See, misters, for yourself. I once could 
read a little, but now I am very old A-hem ! Misters, 
when you got your names in the book a-hem ! please give a 
trifle for showing ; this way, sir. Thank ye, sir you are 
fine gentlemen good day." 

From the Tomb we proceeded to Longwood, which we 
reached in less than half an hour. The road is good, and 
occasionally offers pieces of landscape, which are singularly 
wild and romantic. On our way we passed " Hut's Gate," 
which for some time was the residence of General Bertrand. 
At this retired spot Napoleon passed many a pleasant hour in 
the society of his faithful friend and family. It is stated that 
he was very fond of the General's children, and frequently 
joined them in their sports. 

On reaching the gate at Longwood we were required to pay 
an admission fee of fifty cents for each person. A retired 
army officer has obtained a lease of the place from the 
government, and by his order the entrance fee is demanded 
before the gate is opened. 


Longwood is a long narrow field, interspersed with clumps 
of firs and gumwood trees. The house in which the ex-Em- 
peror spent the last years of his strange and varied life, the 
stables, the fences, everything is sadly neglected, and, ere 
another quarter of a century passes away, nothing will be left 
of the scene but a pile of ruins. The house is built of wood, 
and was once painted green. It has a small trellised porch 
before the main entrance, is ascended by one or two wooden 
steps, almost entirely overgrown with moss and grass, and the 
sides of the building are covered with names, initials, dates, 
and lines of poetry. Viewed externally, it appears an exten- 
sive pile, Jbut many of the buildings now seen on the spot 
were not there during the life of Napoleon ; they were 
brought from the surrounding country, where they had served, 
for the soldiers stationed there to watch the Emperor and 
prevent his escape. He was allowed to walk and ride at 
almost any hour he pleased, but he could not stir without 
being seen from some of the numerous observation-towers 
erected on the neighboring hills. About a mile from Long- 
wood was a large encampment of soldiers. At dusk they 
mounted guard, and the place was surrounded by sen- 

We looked into the rooms; they are small and badly 
lighted the wood-work much decayed the walls scribbled 
over, and the floors covered with dust and filth. The room in 
which the Emperor breathed his last is occupied by a huge 
winnowing machine, and was strewed with chaff and straw. 
The apartment in which he laid in state after his death, is 
now used as a stable. The library serves as a hen-house, and 
we found it filled with chickens and turkeys. His bed-room, 
like all the rest, is sadly dilapidated, and the window which 
lighted it is boarded up. Taken altogether, it is a pile of 


universal ruin, doomed, as I have before observed, at no 
distant time to entirely disappear. 

There are no traces remaining of the gardens, but the 
little-fish pond is still in tolerable preservation. It is asserted 
that before the Emperor's own earthly career was closed, all 
the fishes sickened and died, and that the incident deeply 
affected him, for he sought amusement in attending them 
himself, and watching their gambolings. When the last 
little favorite was gone, he exclaimed, " Yes, everything I 
love, everything that belongs to me is immediately struck. 
Heaven and mankind unite to afflict me." 

Not many paces distant from the crumbling and' deserted 
building we have been describing, may be seen the new resi- 
dence built for the use of Napoleon. It is constructed of 
yellow sand-stone, one story in height, and stands on the de- 
clivity of a gently sloping hill. The house is much larger 
and more convenient than the old one ; but he took a strong 
dislike to it, and would never occupy it. The grounds are 
rather pretty, and the whole is surrounded with a neat stone- 
wall, surmounted by an iron-railing. It was the sight of these 
walls and iron-rails that gave the Emperor such disgust for 
the new residence ; for, he said they would constantly remind 
him he was a prisoner-of-war. We found the building occu- 
pied by Lieutenant Smith, of the Artillery, who had charge of 
the Magnetic Observatory. 

It may be interesting to add to this description the follow- 
ing particulars. Napoleon and his suite arrived at St. Helena 
on the 15th of October, 1815, under charge of Admiral Cock- 
burn. It is stated the island was first suggested as a suitable 
place of confinement for the fallen Emperor by the Duke of 
Wellington, who had been there himself, and was forcibly 
impressed with its natural strength. 

302 ST. HELENA. 

Immediately the royal captive was delivered over to Sir 
Hudson Lowe, who was made responsible for his security. 
This officer received all his orders relative to the treatment 
of Napoleon from the ministry, and was not allowed to exer- 
cise any discretion in the execution of them. 

On the 5th of May, 1821, the great man departed this life ; 
his body was subjected to a post mortem examination, and it 
was discovered that he died of cancer of the stomach. 

He expired amidst a tempest of wind -and rain. 

* Dark was the night, and wild the storm, 

And loud the torrents roar ; 
And loud the sea was heard to dash 
Against the distant shore." 

Many trees were laid prostrate by the storm, and among 
the rest his favorite willow, beneath whose shade he often sat 
reading, or wrapt up in meditation. 

On the 9th of May, he was buried with military honors. 
It was his dying wish to repose in France. After a lapse of 
nearly twenty years his request was complied with ; England 
then gave her consent to his removal, and the frigate " Belle 
Poule," under the command of Prince Joinville, was dis- 
patched to St. Helena by the French Government to fulfill 
the mission. Among the men that accompanied the Prince, 
were four who were devoted friends of the Emperor, and lived 
with him in his captivity Marchand, Gourgaud, Las, 
and Bertrand. 

After the coffin was disinterred, it was conveyed to a tent 
prepared for its reception. There it was opened, and the 
mortal remains of Napoleon were found unchanged. He 
seemed asleep, so perfect were all his features. His old 
friends beheld him there just as they had placed him some 


twenty years before ; and it is almost impossible for language 
to describe their emotion. They kissed the coffin again and 
again, and streams of tears flowed down their cheeks. 

Amid the roar of guns and other martial honors the body 
was embarked, and on the 18th of October, 1840, the " Belle 
Poule " weighed her anchors, and sailed for France. 

On the arrival of the frigate at Brest, the body was con- 
veyed to Paris, and there reinterred beneath the Tomb of the 

From St. Helena we proceeded to Rio Janiero. Here we 
remained several days, during which We replenished our stock 
of water and provisions. Leaving Rio Janeiro, we shaped 
our course for New York, where we arrived on the 3d of July, 
after having been absent from home and friends three years 
and eleven months. 



ISLANDS, 1840. 

ARTICLE 1st. All Consuls duly appointed, and received in 
Samoa, shall be protected, both in their persons and property, 
and all foreigners obtaining the consent of the government, 
and conforming to the laws, shall receive the protection of the 

ARTICLE 2d. All foreign vessels shall be received into 
the ports and harbors of Samoa, for the purpose of obtaining 
supplies, and for commerce ; and with their officers and crews, 
so long as they comply with these regulations, and behave 
themselves peaceably, shall secure the protection of the Gov- 

ARTICLE 3d. The fullest protection shall be given to all 
foreign ships and vessels which may be wrecked; and any 
property saved, shall be taken possession of by the Consul of 
the country to which the vessel belongs, who will allow a sal- 
vage, or portion of the property so saved, to those who may 
aid in saving, and protecting the same, and no embezzlement 
will be permitted under any circumstances whatever. The 
effects of all persons deceased, shall be given up to the Consul 
of the nation to which they may have belonged. 


ARTICLE 4th. Any person guilty of the crime of murder, 
upon any foreigner, shall be given up without delay to the 
Commander of any public vessel of the nation, to which the 
deceased may have belonged, upon his demanding the same. 

ARTICLE 5th. Every vessel shall pay a Port-charge of five 
dollars, for anchorage and water, before she will be allowed to 
receive refreshments on board ; and shall pay for pilotage in 
and out, the sum of seven dollars before she leaves the harbor ; 
and pilots shall be appointed, subject to the approval of the 

ARTICLE 6th. No work shall be done on shore, nor shall 
any natives be employed on board vessels on the Sabbath day, 
under a penalty of ten dollars, unless under circumstances of 
absolute necessity. 

ARTICLE 7th. All trading in spirituous liquors, or landing 
the same, is strictly forbidden. Any person offending, shall 
pay a fine of twenty-five dollars, and the vessel to which he 
belongs shall receive no more refreshments. Any spirituous 
liquors found on shore shall be seized and destroyed. 

ARTICLE 8th. All deserters from vessels will be appre- 
hended, and a reward paid, of five dollars, to the person who 
apprehends him; and three dollars to the Chief of the dis- 
trict in which he may be apprehended, shall be paid on his 
delivery to the proper officer of the vessel. No Master shall 
refuse to receive such deserter, under a penalty of twenty-five 
dollars. Deserters taken after the vessel has sailed, shall be 
delivered up to the Consul, to be dealt with as he may think 
fit. Any person who entices another to desert, or in any way 
assists him, shall be subject to a penalty of five dollars, or 
one month's hard labor on the public roads. 

ARTICLE 9th. No Master shall land a passenger without 
permission of the Government under a penalty of twenty-five 


dollars, and no individual shall be permitted to land or reside 
on the Samoa Group of Islands, without the special permission 
of the Government. Any one so landing, shall be compelled 
to leave by the first opportunity. 

ARTICLE 10th. If a sick person be left on shore from any 
vessel, for the recovery of his health, he shall be placed under 
charge of the Consul, who shall be responsible for his sick 
expenses, and will send him away by the first opportunity after 
his recovery. 

ARTICLE llth. Any seaman remaining on shore after 
9 o'clock at night, shall be made a prisoner until the next 
morning, when he shall be sent on board, and shall pay a 
penalty of five dollars. 

ARTICLE 12th. All fines to be paid in specie, or its equi- 
valent, or be commuted by the Government, at the rate of one 
month's hard labor on the public roads for five dollars. 

ARTICLE 13th. Should the Master of any vessel refuse to 
comply with any of these regulations, a statement of the case 
shall be furnished to the nation, or the Consul of the nation 
to which he belongs, and redress sought from thence. 

ARTICLE 14th. All Magistrates, or Chiefs of districts, 
where vessels or boats may visit, shall enforce the rules and 
regulations relative to the landing of foreigners and appre- 
hension of deserters, or pay such fine as the Malo shall 

ARTICLE 15th. For carrying into effect the foregoing 
rules and regulations, the Chiefs and tula fale of the respec- 
tive districts, shall meet and elect one df their number to act 
as Magistrate or Judge, to execute the laws. 

ARTICLE 16th. These regulations shall be printed, pro- 
mulgated, and a copy furnished to the master of each vessel 
visiting these Islands. 


Similar regulations were adopted by the Fejee Chiefs, 
omitting the 6th, 9th, 10th, 12th, and 15th Articles, and 
signed by the following chiefs : 

Their Their 








Done in Council by the principal Kings and Chiefs of the 
Fejee Group, this 10th day of June, 1840. The foregoing 
Rules and Regulations having been signed by the Kings and 
Chiefs in my presence, and submitted to me, I consider them 
just and proper, and shall forward to the American Govern- 
ment a copy of the same for the information of all masters 
of vessels visiting the Fejee Group of Islands. 


Commanding U. States 

Exploring Expedition. 

U. S. ship " Vincennes," 
Harbor of Ban, June 10th, 1840. 

In presence of 

WM. L. HUDSON, commanding U. S. ship " Peacock," 
Commander RINGQOLD, commanding U. S. brig " Porpoise," 
R. R. WALDRON, U. S. Navy, 


Names of the persons composing the Expedition to Alta 
California : 

Lieutenant EMMONS, 

Passed Midshipman ELD, 

Passed Midshipman COLVOCORESSES, 

Assistant-Surgeon WHITTLE, 

J. R. PEALE, Naturalist, 

J. D. DANA, Geologist, 

W. R. RICH, Botanist, 

A. J. AGATE, Artist, 

J. D. BRACKENRIDGE, Assistant-Botanist, 

Sergeant STEARNS, 

Corporal HUGHES, 

Privates SMITH and MARSH, 




Mr. WALKER and family, emigrating to California, 

Mr. BARROWS, wife and child, do. do. 


Mrs. WARFIELD and child. 

The whole party numbered thirty-nine, with seventy-six 
animals, thirty-two of which were Government property. 


soasiso BOWS eoiraf i wosst, 

The dealings of God, Man, and the Devil ; as exemplified in the 
Life, Experience, aiid Travels of LORENZO Dow, in a period 
of over half a century. 

Together with his Polemic and Miscellaneous Writings, com- 
plete. To which is added, 

" Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." David. 
With an Introductory Essay, by the Rev. JOHN DOWLING, D.D., 
of New York, author of History of Romanism, &c. 

Two volumes in one, 8vo., 350 pages. Embossed binding, embel- 
lished with Steel Portraits of Lorenzo and Peggy Dow. Price 

One month he would be heard of laboring for the good of souls, in his 
own peculiar way, in the neighborhood of his native New England home ; 
the next, perhaps, braving the frost and snow of a Canadian winter ; the 
next, on his way to Ireland or to England, in the prosecution of the same 
benevolent purpose ; and six months afterwards, perhaps, encountering 
the dangers and hardships of a Georgia or Kentucky wilderness, or fleeing 
for his life from the tomahawk or the scalping-knife of the Indian savage, 
in the then untrodden wilds of the great Valley of the West. 

Pale, sallow, and somewhat consumptive in the appearance of his 
countenance ; dressed in the plainest attire, Avith his single-breasted coat, 
often worn thread-bare and in his later years wearing a long flowing 
patriarchal beard ; his whole appearance was such as to awaken a high 
degree of curiosity and interest. 

Then the suddenness and the promptitude of his advent in a town or vil- 
lage, at the very hour and minute he had appointed, perhaps some twelve 
or eighteen months before, the boldness with which he would attack the 
ruling vices, and denounce wickedness either in high places or low 
the general adaptation of his dry and caustic rebukes to the sin and fol- 
lies prevalent^ in the places he visited, and which he seemed to know 
almost intuitively ; together with the biting sarcasm and strong mother- 
wit that pervaded his addresses ; all served to invest the approach to any 
place of the " crazy preacher," (as he was frequently called), with an air 
of singular and almost romantic interest. 

Scarcely a neighborhood, from Canada to Georgia, or from the Atlantic 
to the Mississippi, that has not some tradition to relate, or some tale to 
tell of the visit and the preaching of Lorenzo Dow ; and scarcely an old 
man in all those regions that has not some one or more of the witty say 
ings of Lorenzo Dow to relate to his children and his grand- children. 
Extract from the Introduction. 


SHI HIX& 01 

of " Standisk, the Puritan, &c." 416 pages, 12mo. Muslin. 
Price, $1. 

The principal scenes of " Overing" are laid in Rhode Island, and the 
story opens on the coast of that mist-invested region, when Rhode Island 
was a province, some seventy-eight years ago. It covers the balance of 
that period, and the stirring times of the Revolution which succeeded it, 
and which resulted in its freedom with the other twelve States of the 
confederacy, from the galling thraldom of unjust and oppressive English 
rule. The story is admirably managed, and the characters are drawn 
with a bold, dashing, and skillful pencil. 

The interest is well kept up to the close, and in all respects it is a work 
which will command the attention of the reading public, and become a 
standard work of American historical romance. Its typographical at 
tractions vie with the interest of its contents, and display a taste and 
care which must command for the publishers the public commendation. 
Albany State Register. 

It is a powerful story, illustrative of the manners and the times of the 
early settlers of the country. The principal characters had a real exist- 
ence, and many of the facts are transmitted from the Puritan fathers by 
direct descent. New Haven paper. 

What we have read is so interesting that the volume will not pass out 
of our hands until we see the " Finis." Boston Evening Gazette. 

The plot is a very ingenious one, and the characters in the main finely 
drawn the leading ones most skillfully delineated. Overing, the hero, is 
one of those wild, daring, restless spirits, who, trained somewhat by dis- 
cipline, were wont, during the colonial contest, to become the cause of 
continued apprehension to the British troops. He was always upon them 
when least expected, or if expected, he came from a point or in a -tf ay for 
which they were unprepared. Other personages are introduced and made 
to sustain their part, whether prominent or subordinate ; each exhibit 
distinctive traits, illustrative of the character of the early settlers, and 
all combine to make up a work of unusual and engrossing interest. 
Syracuse Daily Journal. 

It purports to be founded upon veritable incidents, and *o be rather a 
commingling of trutk and fiction, than to consist exclusively of either. It 
is an exciting, thrilling story, and illustrates with great felicity many of 
the peculiarities of the oldem time. Albany Argus. 

Overing is certainly issued in beautiful style, and if the gem be worthy 
of the casket the story of its typographical dress in which it is given to 
the public it must take high rank among American works of fiction. 
It belongs to the same class of works with Mrs. Childs' " Hobomock," 
" Peep at the Pilgrims," and Mr. Motley's later romance. Lowell 



1 vol. 12mo. Price, Muslin, plain edge, $1 25. 

" " " '.< full gilt sides and edge, $2 00. 

" " " Morocco, extra, $2 50. 

most interesting volumes we have had the pleasure of reading for a long 
time. The incidents of the lives of these eminent women would of them- 
selves render a history of them valuable, but when narrated in a style as 
chaste and beautiful as that of Mary E. Hewitt, it is doubly valuable. 

Our readers can therefore procure this work with the full assurance 
that they are purchasing a volume which has merit sufficient to class it 
among the very best publications which have lately issued from the press. 
Syracuse Daily Journal. 

We have in this volume biographical notices of sixteen females of va- 
rious periods, whose heroic adventures have rendered them conspicuous in 
the annals of the world. The sketches, though probably to some extent 
legendary, doubtless contain the important facts in the lives of the indi- 
viduals, so far as they can now be ascertained ; and the facts are certain- 
ly wrought into very striking pictures. Some of the scenes which are 
described, form the dark spots in history, and one has to nerve himself up 
to read them without faltering. The engravings are beautiful. Albany 

HEROINES OF HISTORY ILLUSTRATED. The publication of this charm- 
ing volume has been fully appreciated by the literati of New York and has 
been just as it should be. The selections of illustrious women whose 
heroic lives it records, are rendered doubly interesting by the truthful 
and soul-stirring incidents portrayed throughout the work. The an- 
nouncement of these sketches of lives being arranged by the fair authoress, 
(Mrs. M. E." Hewitt), is sufficient to command an extensive sale. Tha 
publishers have ornamented the work with some beautiful illustrations of 
the principal characters. Day Book. 

In the hands of any competent writer, the lives of Joan of Arc, Isa- 
bella of Spain, Maria Theresa of Austria, Charlotte Corday of France, 
and Laura and13eatrice Cenci, cannot fail to be full of interest, and with 
the graceful diction and easy flow of Mary Hewitt's pen, the work has 
been most successfully achieved. The writer found no lack of incidents 
of a stirring nature, and her style sparkles with brilliant passages, and 
glows with uniform cheerfulness. Herald of the Union. 

The personal and domestic details interwoven in the memoirs, enliven 
the record of graver events, and brighten our recollections of the his- 
tory. The book is a charming one, and should find a place in every 
lady's library.